Static Verification of Aircraft Structural Components
Integrated tool for the automated control and processing of results of static verification calculations.
More than ten years ago Airbus Defence and Space initiated the development of the application Strength 2000. It is an integrated tool for the static verification of structural aircraft components. One of the challenges is the lifetime of the software, which means Strength 2000 must ensure the availability and traceability of the calculations over the whole lifecycle of aircraft components (for military aircraft approximately 25 to 30 years; for civilian aircraft more than 40 years).
The aim of Strength 2000 is to automate the whole process of computing detailed static verifications with respect to a wide range of analysis methods and to relieve the user from performing redundant tasks.
The application meets the following requirements:
- Simplification and automation of the computation process according to the “Handbuch für Strukturberechnungen” (HSB – Handbook of Structural Calculations)
- Parametrization of the calculation procedures using data from the underlying finite element model together with load data and CAD data
- Control of the execution of the calculation methods
- Visualization of computed results
- Easy integration of new and updated methods
- Support for multiple platforms (Windows and Linux)
Airbus Defence and Space approached RISC Software GmbH to analyse Strength 2000 from a software-technical perspective in order to examine the existing software architecture and design and to take new measures which meet the requirements resulting from the long lifetime of the application. Subsequently, the maintenance and further development was also carried out by RISC Software GmbH.
A major milestone was to restructure the finite element analysis post-processor “DIANA”, whereby the following work was performed:
- Ensuring the sustainability (maintainability and extensibility)
- Restructuring of the internal data model
- Switching to a more efficient storage management
- Supporting new, structured file formats (HDF5)
- Enhancing the program’s robustness
- Reducing the program limits
- Integration into the production environment
Another milestone was the extension of Strength 2000 for its external use, whereby the following activities were implemented:
- Improving the ergonomics of the user interface
- Analysis of the existing infrastructure with respect to user management and data management
- Development of a help system with associated authoring tool based on Wiki like systems