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Airbus Selects Altair as a Product Development Partner for Ongoing Aircraft Design

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(credit: istock) Technology Report
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TROY — Troy-based Altair Engineering Inc., a provider of engineering software and product design services, announced that Europe’s Airbus has selected Altair as a product development partner for ongoing aircraft design programs.

Altair and its product development division, Altair ProductDesign, are longtime collaborators with Airbus, having assisted in pioneering Europe’s first Optimization Center, which supports all Airbus European sites and is centralized onsite at Airbus France in Toulouse. A partnership between Altair ProductDesign and Airbus, the Optimization Center receives an initial aircraft design premise and applies optimization expertise to deliver innovative structural design solutions that minimize component or major assembly mass while maintaining performance requirements. Established in 2008, the center demonstrated ongoing success, ensuring that Altair ProductDesign was selected as a product development partner.

Aside from their technical skill and experience, Altair provides a link with optimization tools development, such as OptiStruct. Not only can Altair provide the support to the project but they can also directly influence the development of the tools to create specific functionality for Airbus projects. The interaction between Altair’s service leaders and tool development teams has proven highly beneficial.

As well as metallic components, the Optimization Center is involved in the design of structures made from composite material, a choice that has become increasingly popular in the aerospace industry because of its inherent weight advantages.

One of the challenges in the partnership with Altair is to catch the materials and manufacturing constraints and incorporate them into the optimization process. Many of the successes are due to the team’s spirit in proposing new designs based on the numerical studies, as well as its knowledge of how loads pass along the component.

In addition to the Optimization Center activities, Altair ProductDesign is also a primary partner with the Airbus Non-linear Technical Center for large-scale modeling and is currently engaged on a project that seeks to de-risk physical test phases through the predictive simulation of large aircraft system models in a virtual environment.

The major challenge is to perform this detailed modeling to anticipate local issues in the aircraft. This is the first time that Airbus has performed these tests at an aircraft level, stretching the limit of existing software to be able to simulate such detailed and complete models.

Said Royston Jones, president of Altair ProductDesign: “We have pioneered the use of optimization technology and minimum-mass design across industry for more than 10 years. It is very pleasing to see Airbus, as a world-leading company, invest in this technology and our expertise at a strategic level. Airbus has a long history of developing innovative, fuel-efficient aircraft to meet the demands of its customers.”

Altair ProductDesign is a global, multi-disciplinary product development consultancy of more than 500 designers, engineers, scientists, and creative thinkers.  As a wholly owned subsidiary of Altair Engineering, the organization is best known for its leadership in combining its engineering expertise with computer aided engineering technology to deliver innovation and automate processes. To learn more, visit www.altairproductdesign.com and www.altairenlighten.com.

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