In many ways, living in Boston is just like living in Silicon Valley. The city is teeming with technological innovation and cutting-edge research coming from the communities surrounding top universities such as MIT and Harvard University. Everywhere you go, whether it’s driving down Route 2, Route 128, Route 495 or Route 90 (the Mass Pike), there is a plethora of companies and research laboratories working to push the limits of what’s possible and create revolutionary products and research. Today on my morning commute, I passed by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA), a SOLIDWORKS customer that combines the research resources of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) to explore the evolution of the universe.
Pioneering the next wave of space exploration, CFA is tackling one of the most difficult engineering challenges with SOLIDWORKS Simulation – mankind’s first visit to a star, a feat that will no longer be limited to your favorite episode of Star Trek. Launching in 2018, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Solar Probe Plus (SPP) will plunge directly into the Sun with the help of SAO’s Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons payload, which will measure the electron, proton and helium ion properties of solar wind. Given the Sun’s extreme environment, SAO needed a robust integrated analysis tool that could test their sensor and give them information on where to change materials and thicknesses to optimize the design. In addition to tackling challenging space problems, SAO is developing a digital sensor system for observatory towers that will monitor our planet’s health, REMO, with the help of SOLIDWORKS.
While many of the technologies used in Star Trek may not become common for decades, Star Trek fanatics or “Trekkies” can still rejoice because we’re certainly moving in that direction with leading research projects from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and SOLIDWORKS.
Click here to launch into the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics case study.
If you’re in the area, visit the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to stargaze for free.