The department of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University has revamped the senior design capstone project. With the increased power and efficiency of computational tools and the direct integration of CAD, we have developed a capstone project with a simulation-based design focus that enables our students to design a full size aircraft to fulfil a specific mission profile. In addition to the simulation, the students are also required to build, test and fly a demonstration model.
The revised process utilizes a top down design paradigm which means that the students are developing and optimizing a complete aircraft, instead of optimized systems. STAR-CCM+ analysis was performed on all design variations and results were used to optimize aerodynamic performance.
STAR-CCM+ is an integral component of our course design. The tight coupling with the CAD systems and the strict governance of mesh and physics models allow our undergraduate students to perform complex analyses in a timely manner.