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Visualisation and data representation for large scale multibody simulations with detailed contact analysis: A case study
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, PELAB - Programming Environment Laboratory. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
SKF Engineering and Research Centre.
2009 (English)In: Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, ISSN 1569-190X, Vol. 17, no 6, 1130-1142 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An integrated visualisation and simulation tool for multibody systems with detailed contact analysis applied to transient dynamics is presented in this case study. Transient multibody simulations focusing on detailed contact analysis put high demands not only on the calculation part but also on data visualisation. This is especially true for multidimensional time-varying data. Typical simulation output data, produced by the simulation tool used for this work, has a large number of time steps, in the order of 103-106. This results in 500 MB to 8 GB of compressed data. The large amount of data and many time steps require data compression. A compression algorithm specially designed for time-varying data is used. Selective data access is required for visualisation of transient data sets. A block based streaming technique with fast selective data access is presented that allows for realistic animations of mechanical system dynamics. Furthermore, different representations of surfaces and surface related data are presented that are used throughout the visualisation process. One contribution of this work is the summarisation and description of the complete visualisation process that includes everything from data storage to image rendering, and also includes user-to-data interaction. Another contribution is a sparse data structure for storage of two dimensional transient data sets. This work has been initiated to investigate and describe what is needed to create a complete multibody visualisation system. The outcome of this work is a full-scale visualisation system that is used daily in the industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 17, no 6, 1130-1142 p.
Keyword [en]
BEAST; Compression; Multibody; Simulation; Sparse; Visualisation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18723DOI: 10.1016/j.simpat.2009.04.002OAI: diva2:221253
Available from: 2009-06-03 Created: 2009-06-03 Last updated: 2010-10-11
In thesis
1. Contributions to Modelling and Visualisation of Multibody Systems Simulations with Detailed Contact Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contributions to Modelling and Visualisation of Multibody Systems Simulations with Detailed Contact Analysis
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The steadily increasing performance of modern computer systems is having a large influence on simulation technologies. It enables increasingly detailed simulations of larger and more comprehensive simulation models. Increasingly large amounts of numerical data are produced by these simulations.

This thesis presents several contributions in the field of mechanical system simulation and visualisation. The work described in the thesis is of practical relevance and results have been tested and implemented in tools that are used daily in the industry i.e., the BEAST (BEAring Simulation Tool) tool box. BEAST is a multibody system (MBS) simulation software with special focus on detailed contact calculations. Our work is primarily focusing on these types of systems.

focusing on these types of systems. Research in the field of simulation modelling typically focuses on one or several specific topics around the modelling and simulation work process. The work presented here is novel in the sense that it provides a complete analysis and tool chain for the whole work process for simulation modelling and analysis of multibody systems with detailed contact models. The focus is on detecting and dealing with possible problems and bottlenecks in the work process, with respect to multibody systems with detailed contact models.

The following primary research questions have been formulated:

  • How to utilise object-oriented techniques for modelling of multibody systems with special reference tocontact modelling?
  • How to integrate visualisation with the modelling and simulation process of multibody systems withdetailed contacts.
  • How to reuse and combine existing simulation models to simulate large mechanical systems consistingof several sub-systems by means of co-simulation modelling?

Unique in this work is the focus on detailed contact models. Most modelling approaches for multibody systems focus on modelling of bodies and boundary conditions of such bodies, e.g., springs, dampers, and possibly simple contacts. Here an object oriented modelling approach for multibody simulation and modelling is presented that, in comparison to common approaches, puts emphasis on integrated contact modelling and visualisation. The visualisation techniques are commonly used to verify the system model visually and to analyse simulation results. Data visualisation covers a broad spectrum within research and development. The focus is often on detailed solutions covering a fraction of the whole visualisation process. The novel visualisation aspect of the work presented here is that it presents techniques covering the entire visualisation process integrated with modeling and simulation. This includes a novel data structure for efficient storage and visualisation of multidimensional transient surface related data from detailed contact calculations.

Different mechanical system simulation models typically focus on different parts (sub-systems) of a system. To fully understand a complete mechanical system it is often necessary to investigate several or all parts simultaneously. One solution for a more complete system analysis is to couple different simulation models into one coherent simulation. Part of this work is concerned with such co-simulation modelling. Co-simulation modelling typically focuses on data handling, connection modelling, and numerical stability. This work puts all emphasis on ease of use, i.e., making mechanical system co-simulation modelling applicable for a larger group of people. A novel meta-model based approach for mechanical system co-simulation modelling is presented. The meta-modelling process has been defined and tools and techniques been created to fully support the complete process. A component integrator and modelling environment are presented that support automated interface detection, interface alignment with automated three-dimensional coordinate translations, and three dimensional visual co-simulation modelling. The integrated simulator is based on a general framework for mechanical system co-simulations that guarantees numerical stability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2010. 16 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1337
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-60303 (URN)978-91-7393-317-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-29, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:14 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-10-11 Created: 2010-10-11 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved

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