4th February 2015
Altair today announced that it has been selected by Artemis Racing to serve as a technical supplier in the team’s bid to win the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. Areas of focus for this new era of wingsail foiling catamaran design include composites development, aerodynamics simulation, structural optimization, and fluid-structure interaction. Altair OptiStruct® composite optimization technology is the leader in helping companies efficiently design composite structures, having been used for over twenty years in many industries, including aerospace, automotive, wind energy, and sporting goods.
Artemis Racing represents Kungliga Svenska Segel Sallskapet (KSSS – the Royal Swedish Yacht Club), the fifth-oldest yacht club in the world, and was challenger of record for the 34th America’s Cup. The team has reinvented itself under the leadership of double Olympic champion, Iain Percy. Artemis Racing now boasts an incredible seven Olympic champions, as well as new additions to the design team.
All America’s Cup teams will race one design foiling AC45s in the America’s Cup World Series starting this summer before launching the AC62, which will be sailed by the team in the America’s Cup Challenger Series in 2017.
“It is truly a thrill for us to support the design of the Artemis Racing AC62 with our composite design and optimization technology,” saidJim Scapa, Chief Executive Officer of Altair.
The foils and rigid wing have greatly improved the speed, stability, and maneuverability of the racing yachts. The rigid wingsail provides more lift than traditional soft sails as well as a better lift-to-drag ratio. Composite materials are used extensively for the construction of the yachts and chosen for their lightweight properties, stiffness and strength. America’s Cup Yachts are built primarily using laminated honeycomb sandwich structures, which are efficient at carrying the loads.
“Using OptiStruct, I can look at the composite structure of the boat and assess different structural options in a repetitive and systematic way, making design loops faster and refining the overall structure at the same time,” said Thomas Tison, Structural Engineer for Artemis Racing.
Altair’s ongoing involvement with optimization projects connected with the America’s Cup began in 1995 with the PACT95 Young America entry, and continued through the 2000s. The company’s current association with Artemis Racing dates back to 2011.
“Altair’s unique composite optimization technology can guide optimal material placement for laminate and honeycomb sandwich structures,” explains Robert Yancey, Vice President of Aerospace and Composite Solutions at Altair. “This produces the lightest weight structure that meets all of the performance requirements.”
Accurate prediction of composite behavior is critical when designing a sailboat for elite competition. Optimization of hulls, structures, appendages, sail sets, and other elements is performed. In parallel, the team may interact with a virtual product prototype to refine the shape of the hull and overall design proportions to improve performance. This type of analysis can provide a significant competitive advantage, and is an area where Altair has particular expertise and unique technology.
“We’re excited about the future, and we’re looking forward to further collaboration with Altair in our bid to win the America’s Cup,” said Adam May, Design Coordinator for Artemis Racing.