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ANSYS technology was widely utilized throughout all stages of the project and included external and internal loading of the space capsule, landing impact loading, parachute deployment, rocket block ground handling, vibration analysis and static and dynamic inertial loading of the flight hardware.

St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University through its CompMechLab
has been providing advance Finite Element Analysis capabilities to the project. Click Here to see a few examples of the many FEA (Finite Element Analysis) performed by the CompMechLab which has performed amongst the most demanding engineering requirements for the rockets design.

On the 24-27 of March, at the 3rd International Symposium: Atmospheric Re-entry Vehicles and Systems in Arcachon, France, da Vinci Project Volunteers presented a review paper authored by V. Kudriavtsev, B. Feeney, M. Buneta, J. Porcher, A. Ania, M. Trauttmansdorff, T-L. Hsu, M. Krzeminski and K. Rooz.

The following is an abstract of the paper:

Toronto, March 27, 2003 - In the present article we review engineering and research efforts conducted by a group of volunteers with the help of advanced engineering commercial software (CFD-ACE+, ANSYS, CFD-FASTRAN, Matlab/Simulink, Autodesk Inventor, Maple) in support of the da Vinci Project, the first Canadian competitor in the International X Prize Competition.

The da Vinci Project has an objective of launching the first commercial sub-orbital manned space flight by 2004. Under X Prize rules the vehicle must be reusable, built to hold 3 people and complete 2 flights within a 2 week period.

The basic launch configuration is to lift the rocket using a reusable helium balloon to a launch altitude of 24,400 meters (80,000 feet). The paper describes in detail the various major subsystem components of the Rocket, Balloon Launch Platform, Ground Operations and Logistics and the multidisciplinary approach to arrive at a viable and safe design.

A state of the art software and engineering data management methodology is described. All parameters that effect the design are ported through a data management software linking, CFD, FEA and Flight Simulation software's directly to the primary CAD platform resulting in direct updates to the CAD model. This process allows an iterative design to develop rapidly, multiple configurations to be assessed and a final design output in the shortest overall timeframe.

The data management software contains every parameter in the rockets design including all rocket engine performance criteria. Running a variation on the engine Isp (Specific Impulse) results in the CAD drawings updated with new tank sizes etc, yet still driven by constrictions such as maximum diameter of the vehicle. Lowering of the Isp in such case would result in the need for more fuel to reach the minimum assigned altitude of 115 Kms. The rockets length would automatically be increased, given a diameter restriction. CG and CP values for instance are automatically recalculated for stability analysis.

AAAF Paper 39-2 - published March of 2003 and presented by Dr. Vladimir Kudriavtsev to the International Symposium on Atmospheric Reentry Vehicles and Systems, Arcachon, France, 24 – 27 March 2003

Vehicle at-a-Glance

Name: Wild Fire MKVI
Dimensions: 8 m (26 feet) long, 2 m (78 in) in diameter
Gross Take-Off Weight: 3,860 kg (8,500 lbm)
Dry Weight: 1,660 kg (3,650 lbm)
Crew Capsule: 2 m (78 in) diameter sphere
Crew Environment: Pressurized to 1 atm with pressure suits
Payload Capacity: 410 kg (900 lbm)
Propulsion System: Single, pressure-fed, hybrid engine
Propellants: Nitrous Oxide and proprietary solid fuel
Total Thrust: 80,000 N (18,000 lbf)
Reaction Control System: Cold gas nitrogen integrated with GPS and INS for flight guidance
Miscellaneous: Two drogue chutes and two mains on the capsule deploy and it repeats again separately for the propulsion section during decent.

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