Dutch Space, a supplier of subsystems for the European space industry, is the largest space company in The Netherlands. In the past 30 years, it has contributed to many major international space projects.
To design and virtually test a new-concept thermal protection system (TPS) for hypersonic re-entry vehicles, which face extreme mechanical and thermal loads during launch and reentry.
Abaqus finite element analysis (FEA) allowed the engineers to easily create both a thermal and structural model. The software accommodated the multiple physics the vehicle was subjected to, accurately testing and verifying whether the material was suitable.
Through using Abaqus FEA, the engineers were able to create a highly accurate simulation of the TPS, creating results that were within 3-5% accuracy. Program costs were reduced by the elimination of full-scale thermo-mechanical tests, and development timeframes were reduced.