Managing Simulation Quality and Data at the UK Atomic Weapon Establishment

This paper was produced for the 2019 NAFEMS World Congress in Quebec Canada

Resource Abstract

In a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) era, simulation has widespread use across Physics, Material Science and Engineering at the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The engineering analysis team covers a wide scope of simulation topics including FEA/FVA of solid mechanics, structural dynamics, hypersonic CFD, thermal and blast effects. This in turn creates a broad range of data from a variety of engineering software tools. With increasing emphasis on coupled Multiphysics techniques and parameter sensitivity studies, an enormous amount of data is generated and is increasingly more difficult to manage though a folder-based system.

Although the software used is broadly similar to that used by industry leaders in the aerospace and automotive industry, a large number of different types of analyses are undertaken, many of which have unique processes. Whereas industry has typically implemented simulation process data management tools to improve efficiency, automate repeatable workflows and streamline collaborative working, AWE is also interested in improving the traceability of the source and quality of the data associated with the design and production of the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent.

Within AWE, engineering simulation quality is assessed though the Predictive Capability Maturity Model (PCMM). Analyses are assigned a score between 0 (for concept) to 3 (design qualification) depending on the maturity of various aspects of the model and process that underpins them; these include: material source, geometry and model fidelity, solution verification and validation and uncertainty quantification. It is important to have the ability to complete a fast turnaround piece of work and to not have to undertake the extensive checks that must be completed on a high consequence simulation.

AWE is currently undertaking a project to improve how simulation data is managed and shared. This talk will give an overview of the progress made to date and what has been learnt from industry for the successful implementation of an SPDM system into the engineering workflow.

Document Details

AuthorEdwards. H
Date 18th June 2019
OrganisationAtomic Weapons Establishment


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