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Full text of "NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20100011087: Programming for Design"

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How do all these aerospace spinoffs work? And 
which industrial companies and NASA centers are 
making them happen? 

The technology underlying many of the current 
spinoffs in the first section and other ongoing 
programs are described here in more technical 
detail under categories in Construction^ Transporta- 
tion, Energy, Industrial Productivity, Safety, Medical 
Instrumentation, Medical Systems, Pollution Control, 
Natural Resources, and Recreation, These stories 
reflect the direction of NASA's Technology Utilization 
Office, They are examples of NASA's continuing ef- 
forts at the beginning of 1976 to spin off technology 
from the space program to industrial and commercial 
usage, for the benefit of all Americans. 

Programing for design 

Structures under stress are designed much more 
rapidly^allowing for remarkable increases rn pro- 
ductivity — since NASTRAN (for NASA Structural 

Analysis) has become available. The versatile compu- 
ter program, written originally to help design more 
efficient space vehicles, finds additional applications 
each year. 

Use of the program has been estimated to result 
in a 60% improvement in predicting the behavior of 
stressed components and a two-thirds cut in calcula- 
tion time. 

Because it can be used to analyze both dynamic 
and static behavior of elastic structures under a wide 
range of loading conditions—with more than 65,000 
degrees of freedom — the program is adaptable for 
structures of any size, shape, or purpose* 

For example, the automotive industry uses the 
program to design front suspension systems and 
steering linkages. Railroad tracks and cars are de- 
signed with NASTRAN, it's also used in designing 
bridges, power plants, skyscrapers, aircraft, and— 
round robin—now the space shuttle. 

A recent use of NASTRAN has enabled Pullman- 
Standard Inc, to simulate the dynamic behavior of 
rugged railroad cars for bulk commodity transport. 

By far the most widely used computer program 
to emerge firmi the space program, NASTRAN 
helps a7iali/ze the behavior of elastic sfructui^es 
of atty size, shape, or purpose, such as the 
hopper car below. This one program alone 
has been estimated to return $701 -million 
in cost savings from 1971 to 1984 .