Developing complex, high resolution optics systems is a multi-disciplinary R&D challenge requiring a high degree of technical collaboration between mechanical designers and optical systems design engineers as well as experienced structural and thermal analysts. The Structural/Thermal/Optics Performance (STOP) evaluation of a telescope or laser system is a critical element of today’s optics system design process.
Aerospace project teams are often located in different physical sites and usually belong organizationally to several different functional departments, thus leading to multiple barriers hindering design collaboration and engineering productivity. Optics systems design and analysis teams also face the challenges of working with a wide range of COTS and in-house software tools, often needing to build and maintain custom interfaces and fragile linkages between these legacy software systems. Manual data exchange and re-purposing of design data for use by the various simulation disciplines is common, leading to wasted time as well as human errors in performing the performance simulations.
Keeping the analysis results current with the evolving mechanical and optics design data and being able to track design variants and configurations having multiple simulation models in each stage of the design is virtually impossible using today’s manual methods and, even with current engineering analysis tools, is at best a major process bottleneck and a drain on engineering productivity. The need for a design and analysis decisions “audit trail” and verifying the pedigree of models and results data over the course of programs that can last years or even decades is becoming increasing critical.
In addition, building and testing full scale physical prototypes is extremely expensive and in some cases totally impractical, especially for complex space and defense systems. The earlier and more often that high-fidelity, model-based design analysis is performed for standard performance prediction processes such as STOP, the less a new program needs to depend solely on such physical prototype iterations and the greater the confidence in the delivered system meeting the targeted performance specifications.
How is STOP analysis done today and what are the limitations?
How does Comet address issues with the current process?
Stop working on an island – Engineers who work in the Comet Workspace unify their current 3D CAD tools and other math-based calculation tools such as Excel, MatLab, FEA solvers, optics applications, multi-body dynamics solvers, thermal solvers, meshing tools, and in-house simulation codes.
With Comet/Optronics, you only need to build and maintain a single model as described in the chart below.
|STOP in the Comet Workspace|
|A typical workgroup might include: