What is Aerodynamics Simulation?

Aerodynamics design starts from the earliest stages of development, but it is affected by both large structures and tiny details that change right through the process. Integrating simulation into design allows engineers to optimize the performance of their product and resolve potential issues without the cost of wind tunnel testing.

Industry Challenges Solved by Aerodynamics Simulation

Aerodynamics is a crucial concern across a wide range of industries. The automotive industry was a pioneer in the field, using the understanding of how air flows around vehicles to reduce drag to produce faster cars with better fuel economy. It is also a self-evident requirement in the aerospace industry, especially as high fuel costs and tightening emissions regulations mean that even the smallest reduction in drag is worthwhile. Even large fixed structures such as buildings and industrial equipment can benefit from aerodynamic design to reduce wind load and improve airflow.

Supplementing wind tunnel testing with simulation reduces costs by replacing physical prototypes with a virtual twin. It also represents a significant time saving, as tests that can take weeks to prepare physically can be replicated in simulation with an overnight turnaround. Allowing designers to analyze aerodynamic performance from the very start reduces the time and cost associated with fixing issues later. Simulation fosters innovation by allowing users to experiment with new concepts that can improve performance and offer a competitive edge.

Aerodynamic Simulation Solutions

The SIMULIA brand of Dassault Systèmes offers a portfolio of powerful fluid simulation tools that can tackle a wide range of aerodynamic scenarios and challenges including:

  • Aerodynamic efficiency and drag reduction
  • High lift systems and flight dynamics
  • Vehicle handling
  • Soiling – mud, rain, and snow management
  • Panel deformation
  • Wind load

SIMULIA aerodynamics solutions use the high-performance Lattice Boltzmann technology to accurately simulate the flow of air around large structures, including turbulence. The interaction between air and other fluids such as water and mud can be simulated for analyzing effects such as rain and soiling. Moving parts can be taken into account, as can the road surface, other vehicles, and the environment.

The aerodynamics solutions can also link to other fluids subdisciplines such as aeroacoustics, to structural and motion simulation tools, and to modeling tools for an integrated modeling/simulation (MODSIM) workflow.

Aerodynamic Efficiency

Vehicle aerodynamic design has a critical impact on fuel efficiency, by reducing wind resistance and cooling flow through the engine compartment. Simulation offers insight into vehicle aerodynamics and can reveal real-world issues that aren’t seen in the wind tunnel. Simulation provides cost savings and improvement in the final design.


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Aerodynamics Simulation Resources

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