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SwRI wins R&D 100 Award for vehicle simulation software

August 23, 2004 - A software program that allows engineers to model and simulate vehicle powertrains has received a 2004 R&D 100 award. R&D Magazine has designated Southwest Research Institute's® (SwRI®) RAPTOR® as one of the 100 most significant technological achievements of the past year.

Co-developed with DaimlerChrysler, RAPTOR allows engineers to model and simulate vehicle systems. Automotive, truck and bus manufacturers, component manufacturers and suppliers can benefit from this software.

"RAPTOR offers automotive engineers, through co-simulation and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL), a more efficient design and development process that will shorten product development time and improve product design and time to market," said Scott McBroom, a manager in the Vehicle Systems Research Department in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division.

The software program is an open-architecture tool that facilitates computer-aided engineering (CAE) of vehicles by making the design process more parallel. Parallel CAE allows the various system engineers working in different software packages to use the same reference vehicle models in a co-simulation environment. SwRI has successfully demonstrated the use of RAPTOR for co-simulation and hardware-in-the-loop vehicle component testing and development.

"Our focus in developing RAPTOR was to help reduce the time it takes to develop a vehicle," McBroom said. "Quite often in the automotive industry, one team will make a change that impacts other elements of the powertrain. The effect of that change may not be determined until much later in the process when it may be too late to optimize the design. One key advantage of RAPTOR is that it fosters an environment that allows different engineering teams to simultaneously work together."

RAPTOR also stores and manages data used for vehicle simulations to enable users to synchronize and configure models, component data and simulation results and to easily find component data used in simulations. The software can be adapted to evaluate new automotive technologies in either a virtual environment or in HIL applications.

The SwRI-developed DSL (dynamic structured light) 3-D Imaging System, a non-contact, optical system that produces three-dimensional measurements of surfaces and objects, also won an R&D 100 award.

SwRI has won 28 R&D 100 awards since 1971. This year's awards will be presented Oct. 14, 2004, in Chicago. For further technical information about RAPTOR, call McBroom at (210) 522-3454 or visit raptor.swri.org.

For more information contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, Communications Department, at (210) 522-2256, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.