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News

A new tool called MOSILAB can simulate complex processes within a closed mode

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. : 27 May, 2006  (New Product)
Airplanes, cars and buildings, modern-day life would be hard to imagine without these complex technical systems. A new tool called MOSILAB can simulate complex processes within a closed model, as for example an aircraft takeoff.
The pilot guides the aircraft smoothly to the runway. After a brief stop, the turbines leap into action and the aircraft rapidly accelerates, leaving the ground at around 350 km/h to begin its steep ascent. A moment later, the landing gear retracts and the jet curves off to the left. A multitude of physical processes have to be taken into account when simulating an aircraft takeoff. Until now, each factor has had to be simulated separately. Researchers from six Fraunhofer Institutes have now developed a tool called Modeling and Simulation Laboratory that can represent complex and complicated technical systems within a closed model. The secret is that the program only calculates the variables needed at any given point in the simulation. 'The landing gear simulation routine can be deactivated while the aircraft is in flight, whereas during takeoff, for example, the detailed physics of the wings and landing gear are needed,' explains Christoph Nytsch-Geusen, project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology FIRST in Berlin.

For this project, the MOSILAB scientists expanded on the Modelica standard modeling language. The simulation models can be represented in graphical as well as numerical format, after all, a picture says more than a thousand words. 'A further advantage is that we provide interfaces to popular standard programs and finite element computational simulations,' explains Nytsch-Geusen. In the GENSIM project, which involves development of a generic simulation tool for heterogeneous technical systems with model structure dynamics, the researcher is working on simulations of complex systems in diverse fields of application: energy/humidity balance in buildings, designs for regulating fuel cell systems, or manufacturing processes in machine tool production.

One major advantage that companies gain by using MOSILAB is that they can continue to use their existing programs, thereby avoiding the necessity to invest heavily in new software and additional staff training. 'GENSIM supports the trend in tool harmonization,' sums up the project manager. 'There's just one application and one training program, and even new employees can quickly become familiar with it.'
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