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Case Study

Zunum Aero: Designing the Future of Aircraft Propulsion with the Help of Ansys


"The scripting and parametric analysis capability of Ansys Mechanical is essential for our work on the Zunum Aero Quiet Electric Propulsor. I’ve relied on Ansys Mechanical products for over 20 years to develop the highly optimized solutions required for the aerospace industry."

— Dave Bedel, Senior Principal Engineer / Zunum Aero


Introduction

To reduce development and certification cost, Zunum Aero simulates component performance analytically with several tools in the Ansys software suite. Simulation provides a low-cost means of proving concept feasibility, improving efficiency and optimizing designs before proceeding to the hardware and test phases of product development.

Challenges

The primary goal of Zunum Aero is to reduce passenger total cost door-to-door (TCD2D) for regional air travel. Optimizing a quiet, lightweight propulsion system with efficient aerodynamic designs and a robust heat transfer system is paramount to achieving the aircraft performance objectives.

Engineering Solution

  • Zunum Aero utilizes simulation software to analyze propulsion components for structural integrity through steady state, modal and dynamic analysis models.
  • We perform a detailed heat transfer analysis, beginning with computational fluid dynamics (CFD), fluid flow analysis and cascading to thermal models for temperature prediction and cooling system design.
  • We model internal and external flows for aerodynamic pressure loss estimates and design optimization.
  • We use modal superposition analysis for transient dynamic analysis for preliminary dynamic assessment.
  • With Ansys optimization tools, our team could readily explore design space and more quickly find the right solution to our problems.

Benefits

By enabling the simulation of multiple designs, Ansys engineering software helps Zunum Aero save millions of dollars in hardware tests. Integrated tools for multiphysics evaluation, as well as the compatibility between Ansys Mechanical and Ansys Workbench, allow engineers from various engineering disciplines to speed up optimization to the lowest TCD2D.

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