CAELESTIS Marks Progress at M18 Consortium Meeting
From 24th-25th October 2023, CAELESTIS partners gathered in Girona, Spain, for their 3rd in-person consortium meeting. The meeting marked an opportunity to take stock of progress made in the project’s 18 months thus far, as well to plan activities for the coming period.
Marking the 18th month of activity in the CAELESTIS project, this meeting took place at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Girona, located inside the Roser Chapel, part of the 13th century gothic convent of Sant Doménec. Within the stone walls of the convent, colleagues representing 11 partners from across Europe gathered to discuss the current status, findings thus far, and forthcoming plans of all CAELESTIS Work Packages. As the home city of CAELESTIS partner and experts in advanced materials research, AMADE Research Group, Girona makes perfect sense as a meetup point for the project. AMADE (Analysis and Advanced Materials for Structural Design) is a research and technology transfer group of the University of Girona devoted to the mechanics of materials and structures with a specific focus on fibre-reinforced composite materials. Furthermore, several members of the CAELESTIS consortium are AMADE alumni, having previously studied at the centre – doubling CAELESTIS’ M18 meeting as a reunion of sorts at one of Spain’s leading centres for materials research.
The chief focus of CAELESTIS remains the creation of the so-called Interoperable Simulation Ecosystem (ISE), able to support virtual prototyping for future aircraft components. This ISE will comprise an interoperable digital framework enabled by high performance computing (HPC), and able to address a variety of needs of aeronautical engineers seeking to better respond to future challenges on the way to net zero aviation sector. Operating on HPC platforms of the sort in which Barcelona Supercomputing Centre are leading experts, CAELESTIS’ output ISE will carry out complex large-scale simulation workflows to deliver fast and accurate predictions on a large number of design and manufacturing scenarios, e.g., aircraft components built from lighter materials.
Front and centre on the agenda of this meeting was a full cycle of updates from all partners on the journey to the ISE. Tremendous progress was shown across all work packages, with most work meeting expectations. The Barcelona Supercomputing Centre was already able to present a vivid in-progress structure for CAELESTIS’ simulation ecosystem, envisioning how the complex ISE could ultimately function in a variety of permutations and workflows able to accommodate supercomputing services. Coming up in 2024 is a fresh focus on defining cybersecurity protocols, raising awareness around the topic, and presenting findings and plans thus far at conferences or lectures.
Elsewhere, partners from Addcomposites, ITAINNOVA, IRT Jules Verne, and ESI Group shared results of a range of experiments made to predict the fallibility of automated fibre placement (AFP), powder bed fusion metal additive manufacturing (PBF) and resin transfer moulding (RTM) manufacturing processes. Virtual prototypes have been built and tested to provide some insights regarding, for example, the voids or overlaps between sections of components left behind during the process of manufacturing, or the malleability of the resultant components. By testing the tolerance and strength of simulated components, the system can demonstrate the safe usage of new breeds of aircraft, able to fly with reduced fuel usage – and resultantly lower emissions.
A broad variety of additional tests and finalisation of models is foreseen, including a fatigue test campaign, plus both tomography and laminography to validate the accuracy of simulated manufacturing.
The visit also included a tremendous guide tour of Girona’s historical old town, brimming with a rich history of culture, architecture, and cuisine. To the delight of several members of the consortium, several buildings and streets in the city served as backdrops to TV shows and movies, including Perfume and Game of Thrones!
On the second day of the meeting, and following a review of administrative and financial matters and the conclusion of meeting activities, the consortium were treated to an additional guided tour of one of Girona’s more modern areas. The AMADE, AMTEC, and COMPEX facilities located in the Parc Cientific i Tecnológic at the University of Girona boast facilities able to put researchers such as AMADE at the forefront of work into the future of materials and manufacturing.
The next CAELESTIS meeting will take place in 2024 – venue tbc!