Altair Introduces HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel for Faster, More Accurate External Aerodynamics Simulation


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TROY, MI--Oct. 3, 2013: Altair today introduced HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel™ , a streamlined and high quality vertical application designed to improve wind tunnel simulation for the automotive industry. The announcement was made during the company's annual Americas Altair Technology Conference, being held in Garden Grove, Calif.

Leveraging several of Altair's state-of-the-art technologies from advanced meshing to high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics simulation, and designed with an intuitive, highly automated and streamlined workflow and user interface, HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel brings new levels of accuracy and speed in predicting a vehicle's external aerodynamic performance.

External aerodynamic simulation plays an important role in modern automotive design. The vehicle's fuel consumption, stability, engine cooling, interior cabin noise and windshield-wiper performance all are influenced by aerodynamic forces. Wind tunnel simulations employing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) allow engineers to study these aerodynamic loads and can reduce the number of physical wind tunnel test experiments required during a vehicle's development process.

"HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel benchmarking tests demonstrate that Altair's technology correlates exceptionally well with actual wind tunnel results," said Altair Vice President of CFD Technology Dr. Farzin Shakib. "We anticipate that the ease, flexibility, accuracy and speed of HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel will make it very popular not only across the auto industry but also in other fields where external aerodynamic simulation is crucial, such as architectural design and construction and wind-turbine development."

Central to the solution is AcuSolveŽ, Altair's industry-leading CFD solver that is highly differentiated by its speed, scalability, robustness and accuracy. AcuSolve's advanced turbulence modeling technology enables HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel to predict the flow field and flow separation using steady-state and transient simulation for faster and more accurate results. The best-in-class fluid-structure interaction solution from AcuSolve allows more realistic and comprehensive automotive virtual wind tunnel simulation by considering the flexibility of structures.

"We prefer to use AcuSolve for external aerodynamics. More specifically, we find it is easier with AcuSolve to achieve high accuracy results for drag measurement in external aerodynamics simulations," said Genevieve Dutil, President of the engineering simulation and consulting firm Lx Sim.

Another advantage of HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel is its advanced meshing capabilities. Built on a powerful meshing technology, HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel comes with a fast, fully-automated unstructured mesher with boundary layers. Volume meshing for an external automotive aerodynamics analysis—including the underbody, underhood compartment and boundary layers—can be completed in less than two hours. The CFD solver at the core of HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel is highly tolerant of element qualities, with the ability to manage badly distorted elements unavoidable for complex geometries. The solver's flexibility eliminates the time-intensive mesh optimization step often required with other solutions, dramatically reducing meshing time.

HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel provides a friendly, intuitive user environment and a highly automated setup process. The simulation can be submitted easily to high-performance computing systems from within the HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel environment.

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