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Courses / Modules / SESA3042 Digital Aerospace

Digital Aerospace

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 6
Module lead
Ali Elham
Academic year

Module overview

Aerospace design is a multidisciplinary task involving different disciplines, such as aerodynamics, structure, flight dynamics and performance, propulsion, etc. An accurate and reliable assessment of aircraft characteristics in various fields is essential to each design project. Traditional methods in design were using empirical and statistical models at the beginning of the design and massive use of experiments later. In modern design approaches, digital design is taking over the role of traditional design approaches. In a digital design environment, numerical analysis is widely used instead of empirical/statistical methods and even experiments in many cases.

In this course, students get familiar with the fundamentals of digitalization in aerospace engineering, e.g., digital design environment and the digital twin concept, as well as the two widely used numerical analysis methods in aerospace design, i.e., the Finite Element Method (FEM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

FEM is a numerical approach for solving complex equations (including ODE/PDE), which might not even have known analytical solutions. FEM is widely used for structural analysis, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and multi-physics problems. In this course, students get familiar with the fundamental theories of FEM and its application to structural analysis. It involves hands-on experience with commercial FEM software for analyzing aerospace structures.

CFD is an approach for numerically solving governing equations describing flow motion. Despite the structural analysis, where mostly FEM models are used, for CFD, besides FEM approaches, other approaches such as the Finite Volume Method (FVM) and Finite Difference Methods (FDM) are also applicable. Currently, the FVM is the most popular method in CFD. In this course, students get familiar with the fundamental theories of CFD and their application to aerodynamic/hydrodynamic analysis. It includes hands-on experience with commercial CFD software for studying aerospace aerodynamics.

A digital design environment is a tool to create a digital twin of the product and connect it to different solvers for various numerical analyses. The digital design tool should be capable of creating the required inputs for different solvers, executing them, and reading their outputs. The outputs are then integrated into the digital twin model for the different design processes.

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