Photo: Pål Leren and Eric Denison

Photo: Pål Leren and Eric Denison


Radionor Communications has acquired a simulation program they use to help them calculate the stress that the equipment they make is exposed to in real life. The simulations have become much easier and faster and the calculations are more accurate.

Radionor Communications operates with tactical IP-based radio communication in closed networks and delivers solutions to both the defense industry and civilian customers. In the market for manned and unmanned aircraft, Radionor offers products that are attached to aircraft fuselages, for example antennas for the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s surveillance aircraft:

CEO of Radionor Communications

“The equipment must have proper aerodynamic properties, especially if the aircraft are moving at rapid speeds, it is important that we capture the numerical values of these properties. Aerodynamics are also of great importance for ground installations where antennas are in exposed locations. In these instances, we need to know how much wind pressure they can withstand and how much power the installations are exposed to. After investing in the simulation tool FloEFD, it is now much easier to produce simulations and get the answers we need much more quickly. We process the simulations directly in Solid Edge, which is the CAD program we habitually use. FloEFD is an add-on that is fully integrated with Solid Edge,” explains Atle Sægrov who is CEO of Radionor Communications.
Radionor also uses FloEFD to calculate thermodynamic properties. This enables them to, for instance, simulate how the heat is transported from a product and establish any changes relative to the wind conditions.

Fine analysis
In the past, Radionor, also calculated aerodynamics and thermodynamics, but the calculations were much coarser.
“Now the analyzes are much more accurate and it has become much easier to acquire knowledge about the critical points that are exposed to the most stress in a design. We are now able to uncover these points and make accurate force calculations on them, rather than oversizing the construction to be on the safe side. We usually start with a rough analysis that gives some indications, then we fine-tune and refine how accurate the simulation should be in the different places in the model.”

Easy to use
The simulation program FloEFD appears as an extra menu in Solid Edge where you can add wind speeds to the equation if you are looking for aerodynamic results. This forms a virtual wind tunnel which creates a volume around the product. The program enables you to increase the wind speed to hundreds of kilometers per hour and run a simulation:
“When the simulation is finished it shows the total wind pressure in Newton and you can also receive animations illustrating how the wind blows. If you continue with the heat analysis simulation, you can see how the heat flows out, almost like a heat map of the product. Then it becomes much easier for us to set cooling fins exactly where they are needed, or switch to other materials if necessary. We are experienced Solid Edge users; we know it like the back of our hand, thus it is beneficial to us that FloEFD is part of the CAD program we are already familiar with. FloEFD is also very intuitive and easy to use since you do not have to export data from one application to another to make simulations. We actually only needed a few hours of training before we started working with the tool,” concludes Sægrov.

PUBLISHED: March 29th 2019