Home
NEWS

Press Release: MSC Software's Adams plays Key Role in Curiosity's Descent & Landing on Mars

Download PDF

17 August, 2012

MSC Software Corporation today announced that its Adams multibody dynamics software played a crucial role in enabling the extraordinary descent and landing of the Curiosity Rover onto Mars on Sunday evening (August 5th)

A team of engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) performed a series of critical computer simulations of the sky crane maneuver sequences. In graceful fashion, the JPL team successfully and precisely placed the rover onto the Red Planet, in what many are calling an "immense technical achievement."

The computer simulations that JPL performed in Adams were essential to the mission. For instance, during the rover separation, they had to prevent the flight hardware from clashing or coming into contact with each other during the "two body phase" of the Descent Rate Limiter (DLR)/bridle deployment. Using Adams, the engineers were able to model and simulate this event, which was critical for them.

Adams-Mars-Rover_Simulation-Phase

The dynamic event studies performed by the JPL team were unlike most performed for products functioning here on Earth. The team knew they needed to rely on computer simulations to study the extreme loading conditions that Curiosity potentially would face during the final descent, separation, and landing stages. Many conditions could not physically be tested anywhere on our own planet. The engineers dealt with complexities involving Martian gravity, atmosphere, surface slope, and landing velocities that could not be duplicated exactly here on Earth, and relied on the simulations to gain the insight they needed to feel confident in the execution of the mission. The series of Adams simulations took place in parallel with design - but it was insight from the simulations that helped guide the design to maturity, and to prevent any failures resulting from potentially harsh loading conditions during the mission.

In addition to the separation event, Adams simulations were used to study a complete series of events beginning with power descent to touchdown. The craft carrying the rover was traveling at a speed of 13,000 mph and had to decelerate to a speed at which the sky crane maneuver could lower the rover safely down onto the Mars surface. The team of engineers at JPL created several Adams sub-models including a high-fidelity detailed model of the rover itself. This effort was many times more difficult than that for previous rovers, and included development of a mobility deployment model, a model for the rover separation, and a model for touchdown.

"The employees at MSC are extremely proud of what the JPL team has accomplished," said Dominic Gallello, CEO & President at MSC Software. "We congratulate the NASA team, and are delighted that our software supported such an extraordinary feat. It is always inspiring to acknowledge the ways in which our customers gain value from simulations, and at times even rely exclusively on the technology to execute sophisticated missions like Curiosity. It is an event we will always remember."

To view a YouTube video about the entry, descent and landing, click the link below,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmWAyQxqqs and notice the MSC's Adams software in the background.

NEWS ARCHIVE

17 September 2013
Welcome to Issue 11 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
02 August 2013
Engage with some key thinkers to discuss Australia's manufacturing future.
27 June 2013
Welcome to Issue 10 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
01 June 2013
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Application for Alloy Wheel Design
10 April 2013
Blast Modelling Training Event Announced!
02 April 2013
Welcome to Issue 9 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
22 March 2013
Compumod sponsors the 2013 Australasian Engineering Simulation Conference.
22 March 2013
Welcome to Volume Three of MSC Software's 'Simulating Reality'
06 March 2013
Ferrari adopts revolutionary driving simulation technology from VI-grade and Saginomiya
10 December 2012
Welcome to Issue 8 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
30 November 2012
VI-grade Supplies MRacing Formula SAE Team with VI-Motorsport
10 November 2012
VI-grade Announces Record Subscriptions to the 2012 Edition of the Virtual Formula Competition
30 October 2012
Groundbreaking Study of Complex Composite Materials with MSC Nastran and Marc
27 September 2012
Hankook Tire selects VI-CarRealTime to optimize the design of their tires
14 September 2012
Welcome to Issue 7 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
17 August 2012
MSC Software's Adams plays Key Role in Curiosity's Descent & Landing on Mars
02 August 2012
MSC Nastran 2012 Takes Nonlinear to the Next Level
31 July 2012
MSC Software Announces New Version of its Advanced Wind Turbine Simulation Solution
30 June 2012
VI-grade Announces the 2012 Edition of the Virtual Formula Competition
15 June 2012
Welcome to Issue 6 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
25 April 2012
Business Review Weekly (BRW) covers Compumod hosted AES Conference.
01 March 2012
Welcome to Issue 5 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
27 February 2012
Compumod Sponsors Ford Performance Racing V8 Supercar Team
19 February 2012
Welcome to Volume Two of MSC Software's 'Simulating Reality'
17 February 2012
Compumod sponsors the 2012 Australasian Engineering Simulation Conference
11 January 2012
Welcome to Volume One of MSC Software's 'Simulating Reality'
21 December 2011
Welcome to Issue 4 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
22 November 2011
SimXpert 2012 Delivers Significant Productivity Improvements for Engineers Performing Multidisciplinary Simulations
03 November 2011
MSC Nastran 2012 Delivers Significantly Expanded Simulation of Real World Behaviors
01 November 2011
Compumod Analysis assists Perth Mint cast record breaking 1 Tonne Gold Coin
28 October 2011
VI-grade Announces Official Review of 4th Users Conference
10 August 2011
Compumod appointed Australian Reseller for ZWCAD Software
01 August 2011
Welcome to Issue 3 of the "Making It Real" Newsletter
04 July 2011
Compumod represents Applied DEM exclusively in Australia & NZ
10 June 2011
Compumod appointed Australian Reseller for ZW3D CAD/CAM Software
04 June 2011
Welcome to the second edition of the "Making It Real newsletter
24 May 2011
Compumod launches enhanced website!
03 March 2011
Compumod launches the 1st Edition of the "Making It Real" newsletter
25 February 2011
Compumod launches Logo Simulation Competition
11 February 2011
Compumod represents Phoenix Integration in Australia & NZ
18 October 2010
VI-grade Announces Official Review of 3rd Users Conference
September 2010
Compumod to represent VI-grade in Australia and NZ.