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Mike Winters October 8, 2005 22:47

Looking for FloWorks tutorial for wind tunnel sim

This is my first post to these forums. I have searched the internet (and these forums) with every combination of search terms I can think of, and have not found what I am looking for.

I am a computer science student, and recently, a friend of mine and I came up with an idea to develop a autonomous camera "robot" for use in freefall photography (we are both skydivers).

After doing a bit of research, I found that SolidWorks/FloWorks is one of the leading packages for developing and simulating things such as this. My school computer labs happen to have the software, so I started playing with that last week. I was able to develop the body/shell of the system, but started encountering problems when I tried to figure out the flow simulation side of things. Because I am not an engineering student, the instructor there will not assist me, so I am left to figure it all out on my own.

What I am trying to do is do a wind tunnel simulation on the object. I need to determine the terminal velocity of the object, as well as ensure it's stability while in freefall. Once I get the basic simulation done, I'll progress to finding out how much of a fin deflection it will require to control it's movement.

As I said, however, I have not been able to figure out how to do this. If any of you know of a site that has tutorials for this sort of thing, or would be willing to assist in learning the procedures, I would greatly appreciate it.


Mike Winters

Mike Winters October 9, 2005 22:53

Re: Looking for FloWorks tutorial for wind tunnel
I thought it might be a little more clear if I set out the requirements that the object must fulfill.

It must be:

1) Inherently stable (slight wobbles or spins may render it unusable).

2) Able to change its fall rate from approximately 110mph to 200mph (our design should allow for this mechanically, we just need to ensure that the fall rate is within that range).

Also, by the use of the simulation, we need to be able to determine:

1) The amount of control surface deflection required to translate or rotate the object a specified distance, as well as:

2) The force acting on each of the control surfaces, so that I can determine how strong of a servo each control surface will need.

As I said earlier, we've already got a design that we believe will work, but we need to confirm it before we drop a football sized piece of aluminum out of an aircraft at fourteen thousand feet.

I'm hoping that somebody out there can help me figure out how to set up the project in FloWorks. I've done most of the tutorials included with the program, and none of them are doing a simulation like I'm trying to do, which has left me trying to figure it out without any guidance. There are just too many variables for me to guess at it and expect to get a reasonable result.

I'm not looking for the easy answer. I'm more than willing to put in the effort to learn the procedures, I just need a shove in the right direction. I have not been able to find any sources of information on the software on the internet. If any of you know of a good book that might help me with this, I would greatly appreciate it if you let me know. Because I am not an engineering student, I do not have access to the manuals.


Mike Winters

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