Home > Siemens PLM Software Partners With World-Class Team Competing for Google Lunar X PRIZE

Siemens PLM Software Partners With World-Class Team Competing for Google Lunar X PRIZE

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Rocket City Space Pioneers will be using CAD/CAE tools from Siemens PLM Software in an international competition for the Google Lunar X PRIZE.  

Siemens PLM Software is a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services.  

Siemens PLM Software will be supplying computer-aided design and engineering analysis (CAD/CAE) software to the Rocket City Space Pioneers (RCSP), a team of Huntsville businesses, academic institutions and non-profit organisations competing for the Google Lunar X PRIZE.  

The $30-million international competition will have participants design a robot to safely land on the surface of the moon, travel 500 metres over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to Earth.  

The RCSP team will use Solid Edge software and Femap software with NX NASTRAN software in the design and analysis process.  

The team leader of RCSP is Tim Pickens, the lead propulsion engineer for the SpaceShipOne team, which won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private suborbital space flight in October 2004. Pickens is chief propulsion engineer and commercial space advisor for Dynetics.  

Siemens PLM Software will partner with the RCSP on the innovative ‘Engineering Meets Education’ program, a unique outreach initiative wherein RCSP partners are helping develop the engineering leaders of tomorrow.  

One of the RCSP partners, the Huntsville Center for Technology (HCT) is a key player in this initiative that will allow the partnership to engage high school students with engineers and scientists to assist in designing, building and flying aerospace hardware.  

Aware that quality, precision and efficiency are critical to the design and development process, he adds that the team is appreciative of the access to state-of-the-art product development software such as Solid Edge and Femap with NX NASTRAN in addition to the industry-leading training and support of Siemens PLM Software.  

The HCT is the technical training centre for Huntsville City schools, serving students from all seven area high schools in 14 skilled training areas. Last summer, CAD students from HCT won first place in a national design contest using Solid Edge software as their exclusive 3D design tool.  

In addition to the team leader Dynetics and the Huntsville Center for Technology, the RCSP team consists of Teledyne Brown Engineering, Andrews Space, Spaceflight Services, Draper Laboratory, the University of Alabama Huntsville and the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation.  

RCSP will use Solid Edge for 3D CAD related development and 2D drafting, employing Femap with NX NASTRAN for finite element modelling coupled with digital product simulation and analysis.  

Part of the Siemens PLM Software Velocity Series portfolio of mainstream PLM solutions, the product development tools will help the team ensure their designs are not only created accurately and efficiently, but also that their performance meets or exceeds the design specifications.  

Bill McClure, vice president of product development for Velocity Series, Siemens PLM Software says that their software solutions are used throughout the global manufacturing industry to help produce some of the world’s most sophisticated products.  

He adds that the project will serve as a unique example of how bright minds using advanced software tools can produce innovative new solutions that can change the world.

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