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Monthly Archives: August 2012

AUG

29

2012

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Category: Automotive

Small Overlap, Big Challenge

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

My colleague, Giuseppe Resta, Manager, Global Automotive at Altair Engineering submitted the following blog post.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just released its first results for its new small overlap frontal crash test. Despite the fact that the initial test group consisted of mid-sized luxury and near-luxury sedans, equipped with some of the best safety features available, only three of 11 achieved a good or acceptable rating.  In the test (commonly called SORB, Small Overlap Rigid Barrier), just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver side impacts a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.  It mimics an impact with a pole, tree or another vehicle that, according to the IIHS, as of 2009 represented a quarter of the frontal crashes resulting fatal or serious injury to front occupants. Read More


AUG

22

2012

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Category: Automotive,Lightweight Design

Disruptive Innovation?

, Vice President, Marketing at solidThinking

The National Petroleum Council (a panel advising the US Energy Department) has just published a future fuels report stating that the internal combustion will remain the dominant power source for cars until at least 2050. The study says it will take a future “disruptive innovation” to replace the internal-combustion engine.

Last month, perhaps we saw a glimpse into the future as the University of Michigan Solar Car Team (UMSCT) won their 7th National Championship – this time by the largest margin of victory in the history of the American Solar Challenge. Read More


AUG

15

2012

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Category: Aerospace

Curiosity Rover: Excitement and Inspiration

, Executive Director - Global Aerospace

It was great to see the excitement in the room at JPL when the Curiosity Rover sent  its first signal that it was safely on the surface of Mars.  A lot of hard work from NASA engineers and many contractors had finally paid off.  When I was a senior at MIT in 1986 in the AeroAstro Department, my class was given an assignment by NASA to design a manned mission to Mars.  We discussed the general outline of the program and decided on a three-phase mission.  Phase I would be to send a vessel to Mars that would orbit the red planet and map the entire surface.  Phase II would be to send a rover to Mars that would move around the surface and collect samples that would be returned to earth for further study.  Phase III would be to send a crew to the planet.  The class then split into teams to take on various parts of the mission, and I was selected to lead the “Rover” team.  We designed a rover that looks very similar to Curiosity and addressed the issues regarding maneuverability, control, sensors, and instruments.  It was a great project, and we all learned a lot.  NASA got the benefit of seeing what the next generation of engineers could produce.  I was excited to see the first successful Mars rover mission, Pathfinder, in 1997.  We all hope Curiosity will continue to provide useful information to our scientists and engineers. Read More


AUG

06

2012

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This post was taken from Altair Enlighten.

During a recent meeting with Chris Wilkinson, Engineering Director at Spirit AeroSystems, he kindly agreed to sit down for a short discussion (video below) regarding the use of simulation technology in the aerospace industry. Chris is a fascinating person to speak to about the future of design and is a firm believer that additive manufacturing and 3D printing is the inevitable future of manufacturing. Read More

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