We had the chance to interview OnScale Founder and UK Director, Andrew Tweedie to discuss what brought him to FEA Simulation. In this blog post Andrew shares a fascinating insight into how Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulation can benefit in designing systems that we would never have dreamt possible, however has played a big role in shaping the engineering world we have today.
Andrew, can you tell us about your background in engineering and FEA Simulation?
“My background is in electronic and electrical engineering, which I studied as a master’s degree at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.”“After I completed my degree I went into industry but I chose to undertake an engineering doctorate, which is like an industrial research based PhD. My exposure to FEA simulation started way back in 2003 when I was a summer research student in the Center for Ultrasonic Engineering at Strathclyde. I started off using FEA to simulate the performance of ultrasonic transducers.”
“As my career moved on I started to use finite element simulation to design sonar arrays. So everything from basic sonar sensors all the way through to quite advanced forward look or side scan imaging systems, which are used for ocean floor topography and bathymetry.”
“Simulation is really crucial in these applications. It is very expensive to prototype these devices, so there’s a huge value in being able to assess the performance of the design before you actually put it into production.”
Cool Knowledge: How a searchlight sonar works
Searchlight Sonar works by transmitting a single ultrasonic beam that is 6 degrees wide. The Sonar will then rotate a further 6 degrees and repeat the process. In this way, Searchlight Sonar can search a wide area sequentially. High frequency ultrasonic waves take a comparatively long time travelling through the water, and this can limit the search speed. Due to the narrow beam transmitted, sometimes the Sonar will not display the surroundings properly while the boat is in motion.
“We were successful in developing our simulation to the point that we significantly reduced the number of prototypes. Ultimately it allowed us to get products to market more quickly than we had previously been able to.”
Want to see more FEA greatness for imaging device and Sonar array simulation with OnScale? Check out our sensor applications here.
You can watch our full interview with Andrew below.