When we watch movies about space exploration, we often get new ages who see spacecraft over, but the equivalent value is significantly less radical. This is because companies such as NASA and JPL tend to favor material and designs that they know will work, but it can often be quite expensive.
In order to rethink modern spacecraft and interplanetary landlords in particular, Autodesk (the company behind AutoCAD software) collaborated with NASA to create a futuristic look that was also more energy efficient and cost effective.
They presented the design earlier this week at the Autodesk University Summit in Las Vegas, with a scaled version measuring 1 meter long and 2.5 meters wide.
Interestingly, when Autodesk's head of industrial research Mark Davis first approached JPL with this thought, they were not too keen. Their minds changed when Davis explained that their design could potentially achieve 30 percent better performance compared to what is currently used by NASA.
"They were clear that they were not interested in incremental profits: if they could only improve performance by 10%, they were basically not interested. If we could provide software tools to help them achieve a 30% performance improvement so we had attention. The project shows that Autodesk technology can deliver mass savings at this level, "said Davis.
When it comes to creating the new landlord, Davis adds that a generic design method is favored. Therefore, you use machine intelligence and cloud computing to quickly create a wide set of design solutions that fit within the specific constraints engineers set.
This type of approach enables a design team to look at a far wider range of concepts while still meeting the manufacturing and performance requirements dictated by the team or the environment.
Generative design is not something that is only available to space engineers, with a commercial version of that found in Autodesk Fusion 360 software. Autodesk also uses a more technical version of the software for designing Formula 1 cars and created a customized iteration of the software that helps with this new project.
"We took a system that was developed to help our customers solve system-level suspension problems on a Formula 1 car and applied new requirements for structural barriers critical to space exploration. This gave us a chance to drive the capabilities of the software even more and help our customers solve even bigger and more sophisticated problems, "concludes Davis.
As for this new lander design, Autodesk says it hopes it will be used for NASA's planned mission to explore planets beyond us such as Jupiter or Saturn. Unfortunately, it is still to see if such an assignment will be implemented in our lives.