CAE instruments application in DTA (Apulian Aerospace Technological District) research projects

Silvano Capuzzo

DTA (Apulian Aerospace Technological District)

M. Perillo – D. Ricci
EnginSoft SpA


The Apulian Aerospace District (DTA) deals with research projects in the field of aerospace. CAE technologies are employed in these projects to propose new methodological approaches and new tools in the development of knowledge and innovative solutions, in this way facilitating both the design and development of products and the creation of new production processes.

In particular, the projects at the moment underway are focused on :

  • the development of advanced design and production systems of structural components ,
  • the development of a platform of structural analysis for performing diagnosis and prognosis on defected and / or damaged composite structures
  • the development of new methods for reducing casting defects of composite components made with their production processes ,
  • the development and implementation of scientific, technological and industrial products aimed at the design and implementation of new systems of Earth observation and the provision of value added services for users.

As a sample of the achievable results through the development of these actions, it will be presented one of the deliverable of SPIA project (Lifting Aeronautical Innovative Structure), whose strategic aim is to develop and realize advanced design and production techniques for empennages (fixed and movable parts) and for the relative fuselage segment on which they are installed, realized in composite material and with high integration level.

This deliverable consists in the realization of an analytic tool for the preliminary design and dimensioning of fuselage sections. The tool aim is to provide a useful set of configuration instruments which allow the designer to obtain a configuration trade on fuselage primary structure in the preliminary design activity, and to procure size and margin of safety for every component. The dimensioning implies the fuselage panels’ thickness calculation and the definition, in terms of elements number and size, of stringers and frame backup structure. The tool supports the designer during the dimensioning of fuselage section not only in terms of resistance criteria but also in terms of buckling and post-buckling behavior of the components. It is completely customizable as concerns material and it is flexible for any other preliminary design of aeronautical components, such as wing and tail empennage.

The tool integrates itself with the preliminary design phase and a detailed analysis , overcoming the gap between CAD and FEM tools that today is accomplished with a trial and error time-spending analysis, requiring the redesign of all the model in case of any dimensioning issue.

The activities of the whole project involve the following partners: EnginSoft, Alenia Aermacchi, Università del Salento, Salver, Politecnico di Bari, Avio, CETMA.