A project: Research on Software and Visualization Tools for the Automotive Industry
Microsoft supports research at the HLRS (High Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart) in the field of Augmented Reality and cluster computing. The cooperation takes place within the Technical Computing Initiative (TCI) of Microsoft Research and includes the collaboration with Daimler AG. In this project Software and Visualization Tools for the Autmomotive Industry based on Microsoft products for usage in industrial environments are developed and investigated.
Augmented Reality (AR) in vehicle development process
Today, engineers widely use digital tools and processes during vehicle development. These digital prototypes allow us to analyze engineering processes in an early stage before the physical prototype is built. This leads to a lower expenditiure of materials and time and moreover, supports the interaction between engineers of different development departments.
AR techniques make it possible to overlay virtual elements over the physical vehicle components and to evaluate all parameters simultaneously. Another important benefit of AR is the verification of simulation results. By displaying simulation data and results from physical experiment at the same time, one can directly compare the two and thus verify the correctness of the simulation. The visualization software used is COVISE which is owned by the University of Stuttgart and developed at the HLRS.
An AR application: Aerodynamics
There are many application areas in the engineering process where AR techniques can be applied. One of these is the investigation of aerodynamics. In order to optimize the shape of a vehicle, pressure and velocity data is collected in wind tunnel experiments. The picture (on the left) shows a prototypical AR application in the model size wind tunnel at the FKFS at the University of Stuttgart. The car is placed stable at a predefined position in the wind tunnel and pattern markers are put on the floor next to the car. With smoke particles the air streaming out of a unit injector is made visible. The colored streamlines and particles visualize the velocity of the air, the cutting surface (below the smoke emitter) the pressure.
An AR application: Thermal Comfort for passengers
Another application area is the examination of the air conditioning inside the vehicle. A comfortable climatization depends on the power of the climate control unit, the connected air guiding system and the position of the ducts. Computed and testing data of the airflow comming out of the ducts is analyzed to optimize the comfort for the passengers. With AR visualization it can be examined from the passengers point of view if the air has a suitable velocity, pressure and temperature. The picture (on the right) shows a prototypical AR application with a Daimler Mercedes-Benz GL-class on the HLRS booth at SC07. The colored streamlines and particles show the velocity of the air, the cutting surface the temperature in the foot area. The yellow iso surfaces represent a certain temperature value of the air.
Collaboration with Daimler AG
The realization of AR scenarios and the research of prototypes for selected AR applications is done in collaboration with Daimler AG in Sindelfingen. The project is integrated in the Daimler internal project called "Workshop of the Future". Engineers, specialists, PhD and diploma students of several departments are involved in this work.
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