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Mr. Paul Meckel

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Digital Wind


Project Title: Digital Wind

Status: Ongoing


Problem Statement:

The interplay between computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and experimental fluid dynamics (EFD) has been an important topic to the aeronautics community for over 40 years. Conversely, the wind tunnel has provided precision measurements essential to the calibration/validation of CFD models. Although both tools have matured significantly, CFD and EFD are narrowly confined to addressing the aerodynamics of a system under development and consequently are not significantly impacting the cycle time and total ownership costs of developing, fielding, and sustaining an aeronautical system to the extent possible. However, a new paradigm focused on integrating computational and experimental knowledge is based on a more expansive inclusion of physics-based modeling and physical measurements to include not only the aerodynamics but structures, propulsion, control systems, avionics, etc. Referred to as the Digital Thread/Digital Twin, this new paradigm is enabled, not only by advances in computational sciences, but new directions in policies and practices supportive of better use of government technical expertise and insight in collaboration with industry.


Project Description:

Digital Twin/Digital Thread (DT/DTw) is an advanced modeling and simulation tool that links materials-design-process-manufacturing (digital thread) to a virtual representation of a system through an integrated system of data, models, and analysis tools applied over the entire life cycle on a tail-number unique and operator-by-name basis (digital twin). Digital Thread is an extensible, configurable, enterprise-level framework that seamlessly expedites the controlled interplay of data, information, and knowledge among design, manufacturing, operations, and sustainment disciplines that informs decisions throughout a system’s lice cycle . Digital Twin is a virtual idealization of an individual physical aircraft as defined by a collection of computer models and data that accurately capture aircraft behavior responses at multiple spatial and temporal scales and can be used to replicate the health state and system response of a physical aircraft. The overall objective of DT/DTw is to facilitate examination of multiple variables concurrently in the design phase such that uncertainties associated with each step in the life cycle can be reduced. OTI is working with DT/DTw with a focus on wind tunnel testing and cost savings for the Bending the Cost Curve initiatives.