Novel Finite Element Techniques to Expedite the Implementation and Computational Time of 3D Structural Models Showcased Through Space Habitat




Shahriar, Adnan

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This research work presents the development of novel numerical tools that enable the analysis of structural systems with reduced degrees of freedom within a system of systems (SOS) framework. First, a generalized methodology was developed to reduce the implementation time associated with formulating arbitrary finite elements capable of capturing physical phenomena with reduced degrees of freedom. Then, a highly efficient computational approach using the extended finite element method (XFEM) was designed to model the three-dimensional mechanics of holes and voids. Finally, an innovative approach was proposed to dynamically couple two independent finite element structural models with a common interface within the SOS framework. These three developments are implemented to analyze the SOS of SmartHabs consisting of different interconnected sub-systems, including the structure, structural protective layer, power system, interior environment, and robotic agents, communicating in real-time to capture the overall system's behavior under disturbance events, such as meteoroid impacts and moonquakes. The SOS framework incorporates damageable and repairable capabilities, allowing the evaluation of the effectiveness of safety controls in restoring a damaged habitat to a functional operational level after a disturbance event. This thesis discusses three computational techniques arising from the need to capture the dynamics of the interaction of the structural systems with other subsystems of the habitat in real time. These computational tools will advance space exploration by enabling simulations that generate knowledge to expedite the realization of SmartHabs. Such results from meteorite impacts on SmartHabs while adhering to computational constraints. Moreover, these techniques can also be applied to analyze various Earth structures.



Structural systems, Extended finite element method, 3D structural models



Mechanical Engineering