Saratech Inc Blog: The 2014 FEMAP Symposium Saratech Inc Blog: The 2014 FEMAP Symposium

The 2014 FEMAP Symposium

The 2014 FEMAP Symposium was held on May 15th and 16th in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the second time a national FEMAP event had been held. One of the highlights was listening to the keynote speaker, Mark McGinnis from SGT, give a presentation on how FEMAP is used at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on the James Webb Space Telescope project. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5 meter primary mirror that has a target launch date in 2018. JWST will observe the first luminous glows after the big bang, and help us understand the evolution of our own Solar System. FEMAP is used on the JWST project to do traditional loads modeling, help the design and testing of the Science Instrument Module, and to help calculate the on-orbit stability of the observatory due to thermal and jitter effects.

We also heard about how NX NASTRAN was used to analyze the JWST models, and the models were massive.  Several FEMAP API’s were developed to help extract displacement results from the large models, summing strain energy by group to help with design improvements, and allow access to the full 16-digit grid locations to assure complete coincident grids on export, which is critical when results are in nanometers.   API’s were also created to help export data to MATLAB for further processing, and to help automate global-local modeling.  It is great to hear Mark McGinnis talk about real world modeling using FEMAP and NX NASTRAN, and the techniques used perform the analysis.

Another highlight was hearing about the 2014 FEMAP roadmap, and the new features being worked on for the FEMAP 11.1.2 and 11.2 releases.  During the developer round table, we got to talk one on one with the FEMAP developers, and give suggestions for future enhancements.  Most, if not all, of the FEMAP development team have worked doing finite element analysis before joining the FEMAP team, and they are always happy to get feedback from the FEMAP users to help guide the future enhancements.

The FEMAP symposium was a success. It was a great two days of interaction with other FEMAP users, and the FEMAP development team. 

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