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Siemens highlights contribution on Solar Impulse 2 project

The tech firm utilised digital technology to simulate the various physical challenges that the aircraft could encounter on its journey.

Long before it undertook its first flight, Siemens deployed a number of digital technologies that simulated a variety of challenges that the solar-plane could face over the course of its journey.
Long before it undertook its first flight, Siemens deployed a number of digital technologies that simulated a variety of challenges that the solar-plane could face over the course of its journey.

Ahead of the final leg of Solar Impulse 2's journey, which will travel from Cairo to Abu Dhabi, Siemens has unveiled insights into its participation on the first circumnavigation across the globe in a solar-powered aircraft.

Prior to its first flight, Siemens deployed a number of digital technologies that simulated a variety of challenges that the solar-plane could face over the course of its journey.

Such technologies included the product lifecycle management (PLM), which allowed the teams at Solar Impulse and AEROFEM, to optimise the aircraft's design prior to the manufacturing of the prototype.

Additionally, Siemens deployed its Femap software for Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), which was utilised to design the plane's wing structure, matching strength requirements, while also minimising weight gain.

The end result saw a change in materials that lead to reducing weight from 100 grams per square metre to a more manageable 25 grams per square meter. Use of Siemens' software is also credited in the final design of the cockpit, which was originally three times smaller and twice as heavy.

 

Siemens PLM Software has seen previous deployment in a number of record-breaking designs, such as the championship-winning Formula One car from Red Bull Racing, as well as the design for NASA's Rover Curiosity.