As with all product development, time to market is a critical factor in the commercial
aircraft sector. In addition to meeting critical design requirements-on time and on
budget-airplane manufacturers must also comply with strict FAA certification requirements.
The process is therefore heavily dependent on testing for validation of design.
In deploying new materials and processing techniques, over reliance on testing becomes
a trial and error process that will inevitably prolong the product development schedule,
with a steep impact on cost.
For over two decades AlphaSTAR has been singularly focused on developing GENOA,
an accurate and physics based analytical methodology for virtual testing of advanced materials.
Our GENOA methodology has been continually validated by FAA, NIAR, NASA, as well
as major aerospace companies. We deliver an essential capability for test guidance
that supports the entire product development lifecycle. AlphaSTAR capabilities enable
reduced testing at the material coupon level all the way up to predicting the response
of major structural components. Furthermore, the central design objective of the GENOA
methodology is ease of use; GENOA extends and augments standard industry practices and
therefore broadens and protects aerospace manufacturers' current investment in technology.
The following elements constitute the core of aircraft structural design:
AlphaSTAR can provide technical expertise in support of aircraft structural design as described
With broad knowledge and experience in material modeling and analysis,
a large material data base can be put to use to assist in material selection. The database includes
many classes of carbon and glass based polymers, adhesive bonds, and metal alloys. Thermo-mechanical-electrical
properties are determined for various types of ASTM coupons under different environments to
generate performance design envelope. If design requirements are not met by considered material,
alternate materials can be used from the database. Efficient use of computational technology
can accelerate the material qualification and characterization process, especially with respect
to determining allowables with reduced testing. Important aspects that need to be accounted
for in the material selection process pertain to uncertainties in material properties of the
composites or metals and for scatter in manufacturing defects. The whole process was repeatedly
demonstrated and validated by AlphaSTAR for a range of aerospace applications.
This category deals with deriving a shape of the structure capable of using
the material to its fullest extent. The analysis will involve iterative design studies to optimize
the shape of the structure to deliver minimum weight and meet requirements for durability and
reliability. The shape of the structure is also governed by aerodynamics requirements. AlphaSTAR
developed a verified computational technology to deliver a robust design of structural components
that is insensitive to small changes in manufacturing or material properties. The capability
integrates multi-scale progressive failure analysis and optimization and reliability methods
to optimize the structure for minimum weight and cost and maximum durability and reliability.
Weight is always a great concern in aircraft design. Weight management can
be handled more efficiently when the design process includes and considers advanced materials
coupled with advanced simulation tools to assess feasibility of design concepts prior to build
The process of validating and qualifying new materials, processes, and manufacturing
technologies has been developed and matured over the years. This process remains very expensive
and cumbersome requiring as thousands of coupons are manufactured and tested per the FAA's building
block strategy. AlphaSTAR can assist in the design and qualification of new aircrafts by reducing
the number of specimens, elements, and sub-components that need to be manufactured for assisting
in the certification.
Innovative cost-effective, energy efficient materials and manufacturing technologies are required
to meet the commercial needs. During the design and leading up to certification of structural
component, prototyping or full scale manufacturing might be in order to verify anticipated performance.