UK aircraft manufacturer
An improved method of analysing wind tunnel and CFD data.
As part of a new initiative, our UK aircraft manufacturer client required a more efficient method of analysing wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics data. Ideally, they needed a piece of software that would replace the five existing tools they used and would simplify and speed up the production of results.
Using MATLAB, Frazer-Nash developed a fully interactive piece of software called the Pressure Map tool. A series of Graphical User Interface (GUI) windows takes existing wind tunnel data and automatically generates pressure profiles which cover the full flight envelope. Conventional wind tunnel tests are not able to capture extreme flight conditions, so the tool is used to simulate realistic pressure distributions at these extreme cases to allow the wing to be designed to a full safety specification. The tool can also suggest optimum data ranges to generate the most appropriate profiles.
As well as enabling the user to view and edit previous runs, it is possible to record all input data for Quality Assurance purposes, the software can also be used to generate final output files.
The application was delivered to the client with the fully documented code and corresponding methodology documents. This allowed the tool to be developed internally if required, and we were also able to provide a supporting role in using the software to generate data as well as developing the tool to include further functionality.
The improved usability of the tool has resulted in a process that now takes one week, compared to five weeks using the old methods. It has enabled increased repeatability whilst decreased the operator skill level required to generate the pressure maps. The software was also developed under AS 9100 so provides high confidence levels in the results.