The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed an analysis software that is used to perform Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of various types of structures including rockets, aircraft, satellites, buildings, etc.
What is an FEA?
The FEA is a computerized method for predicting how a component or structure reacts to real-world forces like various types of structural loads, thermal conditions, and other physical effects that a structure experiences during operation. During the design and development phase of a product, the FEA is carried out to evaluate how well and safely, the component and structure can withstand various loads and perform its intended function without any failure.
So far, the users have mostly depended on expensive software versions from foreign firms for this function. With their latest offering and FEA Software known as the FEAST (Financial Element Analysis of Structures), the ISRO hopes to take this indigenous and customizable FEA software to the Indian user base
“The FEAST Software Tool is the result of decades-long efforts by the various generations of scientists and engineers at ISRO’s lead centre, VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre), Thiruvananthapuram. We started building this tool for our internal use and developed considerable expertise in this field. That is when we decided to ensure that our software be shared with the larger FEA user base within India,” the Director of the VSSC told a media agency. He said that FEAST has been made available for the Indian academia at a fraction of the price of similar foreign offerings. A Free Trial of the FEAST Software at the ISRO and VSSC website.
Types of FEAST
It is operable in both Windows and Linux operating systems, this software is capable of running on systems that require minimal hardware configurations, FEAST is available in three versions, based on the sophisticated levels and requirements of a broad category of users- academic (students and educational institutions), premium (small and medium scale industries) and professional (general large-scale operations)
So far, the FEAST is used by the structural design community in all major ISRO centres across India. To popularize this software among the Indian user base, the ISRO has also made efforts to publish a book targeting undergraduate and postgraduate students, offering more insights into the fundamentals of the FEA method and how the FEAST can be used for solving real-life problems.
The Book titled “Introduction to Finite Element Analysis’ has been written by the practicing structural analysis experts of the VSSC and the Liquid Propulsion Systems and edited by S. Somanath Chairman of the ISRO, Secretary of the Department of Space and Dr Unnikrishnan Nair.
Details of the Publication
Elaborating on the details of the book, Nair said that it considers basic concepts and applications of the FEA in an easy-to-understand manner. It is aimed at introducing these advanced topics to undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students in a lucid style with a thrust through tutorials and problems.
The first part of the book deals with the basics and introductions to the concepts of the finite element method. The latter part encapsulates various features of the software, the use cases, solving model problems using FEAST methods, giving inputs and how the results of analysis can be viewed and interpreted. The software has been periodically updated and enhanced as per the user’s feedback. In recent times every year, we have held a national user conference of the FEAST Community. Springer India is the publisher of the book.