There are several related projects realizing numerical strength analysis of
wing structures based on finite-element method. The main goal of the projects
is porting large strength analysis programs (solvers), originally developed
for mainframes back in 70-80s, to Windows NT/2000/XP platform and equipping
them with modern graphical user interface. The solvers, written in eternal
Fortran and working in batch mode, were accompanied by user-friendly
facilities for entering/editing input data, visualization the results and
providing extra features such as design history database, etc.
The main aspect of success of these projects is the absense of usual for such
cases conceptual gap — mutual misunderstanding between IT-specialists and
scientists. Members of our team being IT-professionals have at the same time
a fundamental education (and work experience) in the field of structural
mechanics, mathematics, physics. We can understand the language of our
partners-scientists, who (in their turn) can program algorithms of numerical
analysis, know Fortran statements READ and PRINT, and do not want to deal
with programmer's “bells and whistles”.
One of the projects — Generic Wing Box Design Tool —
is a successful example of such interaction and a typical moderate solution
intended for revival of ancient software. The project was launched in short
time and developed further as researchers came up with new ideas.
Another project — Detailed Stiffened Panel Analysis — was also
implemented in a short term, and was then expanded during long period of
time gradually covering new calculation cases. This large application
is used for research of crack propagation processes in aircraft
constructions, which requires huge processing power. So for this particular
package a distributed computational technique was implemented to enable
parallel computation using several computers connected via LAN and further
merging the results into a single design history database.
A particular feature of this project is a very high detalization of the
calculation model and, as the result, huge volume (hundreds of values) of
source data. To ease user's experience with the software we provide such solutions as
database (library) of reusable structural component (skin panels, stiffeners,
cross-sections, etc), mechanical properties (ultimate strengthes and
stress-strain diagrams), crack growth scenarios and mesh generation options.
Keywords: strength analysis & engineering design in aerospace construction,
CAD (computer-aided design),