3510 . special feature magazine n° 2 . april 6 2017 . not to be sold separately


CEA at the heart of innovation
for extreme computing
and Big Data

CEA and Bull are co-designing exascale technologies

Harnessing exascale computing and data processing
will open unexplored perspectives for the numerical
simulation of complex physical phenomena and
industrial objects, by 2020 and beyond.
In order to tackle this challenge, CEA, in partnership
with Atos, is co-designing technologies to:
Reduce energy consumption
Process and manage massive flows of data
Increase performance, efficiency and modularity of
supercomputer architectures
Design fault-tolerant architectures TERA 1000, developed in partnership with Atos/Bull
according to CEA requirements and installed in 2016,
1 - At the scale of a billion of billions of operations per second (exaFlops) and is foreshadowing exascale supercomputers.
memory bytes (exaBytes).

CEA boosts industrial innovation
Located at CEA Bruyères-
le-Châtel site, TGCC (CEA
Numerical simulation of
Very Large Computing combusion in an helicopter
Centre) hosts CCRT turbo-engine – TURBOMECA
(Computing Centre for
Research and Technology), a shared infrastructure
optimized for HPC. CCRT partners receive 1.5 Pflops of
computing power, as well as services and expertise Aero-acoustic numerical simulation
on an automotive interior ventilation
supported by CEA HPC team skills – an essential asset for system – VALEO
their numerical simulations.

CCRT partners
Airbus Safran Launchers, Areva, Cerfacs, EDF, IFPEN,
Simulation of surface
Ineris, IRSN, L’Oréal, SafranTech, SAFRAN Aero Boosters, currents on an aircraft nose
SAFRAN Aircraft Engines, SAFRAN Helicopter Engines, radome - THALES
SOLEIL,Thales, Thales Alenia Space, Valeo, CEA as well as
FranceGénomique consortium (supported by French
government PIA).

To know more www-ccrt.cea.fr Contact christine.menache@cea.fr



Supplément du xxx . xx xxxxx 2017 . ne peut être vendu Séparément

The PPS 5000
ELECTRICAL currently being
SySTEMS tested by Safran
Aircraft Engines.

A year of simulation P. 4 OF APPLICATION

Diota - Numerical simulation trophies et’s not make the mistake of thinking that mode-
grand prize winner P. 6 ling and simulation serve only to replace expen-
INTERVIEW sive physical tests. The renowned epidemiologist
Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos P. 8 Franck Varenne listed twenty uses, classified into
five families, of numerical models at the first scien-
tific colloquium on modeling, held at the CNRS in
December 2016. These five families are: observation/
Winning the race for battery life P. 12
experimentation, intelligible presentation, theorization,
discussion, and decision-making. Numerical simula-
Focus on electric planes P. 18
tion’s wealth of uses makes it an essential discipline
for researchers and manufacturers, helping them iden- AURÉLIE
Accelerating the launch of satellites P. 22
tify the challenges for more sustainable, eco-friendly BARBAUX
transport and industry. ASSISTANT EDITOR
The quest for compact systems P. 24
We examine these diverse challenges throughout this
MAINTENANCE special issue, especially in our report on the craze for
The digital twin: a protective brother P. 26 electric transport: testing new energy sources, deve-
RESEARCH loping new types of battery, making fuel cells more
Numerical simulation - The heart of IRTs P. 28 compact, optimizing the size of thermal propulsion
ENERGY systems, reducing the time it takes to put satellites into
Designing more energy efficient orbit, simulating airflows around hybrid planes, optimi-
supercomputers P. 34 zing composites for marine power, and tracking down
SUCCESS STORY heat energy (calories) in 3D electrical components.
The Cosmo Company designs computer New fields of application for simulation are constantly
models of complex systems P. 36 emerging, especially in production pro-
PORTFOLIO cesses by optimizing 3D printing. Combi- New fields of application
Trompe-l’œil P. 38
ned with big data, simulation is now used for simulation are
TOOL for preventative maintenance via digital constantly emerging,
Optimizing 3D printing P. 42
twins, developing multimodal transport, especially in production
and modeling complex systems such as
power grids and transport networks.
Président, directeur de la publication : Julien Elmaleh
Directrice générale déléguée : Isabelle André
Simulation is even moving beyond the physical sciences
Directeur du pôle industrie : Pierre-Dominique Lucas to help develop multidisciplinary design methods.
Directrice de la rédaction : Christine Kerdellant
Directrice adjointe de la rédaction : Anne Debray
We should not overlook the energy cost of these
Rédacteur en chef édition : Guillaume Dessaix capabilities. The race towards exascale computing
Direction artistique : Eudes Bulard power must therefore be accompanied by a search
Coordinatrice éditoriale : Aurélie Barbaux
Ont participé à ce numéro : Claire Laborde et for greater energy efficiency. This is a challenge for
Rebecca Lecauchois (secrétariat de rédaction) ; manufacturers and other stakeholders. “The issue here
Capucine Ragot et Sylvie Louvet (maquette)
« L’Usine Nouvelle » n° 3510 – Cahier numéro 2 is not about increasing or limiting computing power,
6 avril 2017 (commission paritaire n° 0712T81903) but rather reflecting on how to make better use of it,”
Ne peut être vendu séparément
Une publication du groupe Gisi, Antony Parc II - said Alain Fuchs, president of the CNRS, in his opening
10 place du Général-de-Gaulle - BP 20156 - 92186 Antony Cedex address at the first numerical simulation colloquium
Impression : Roto France Impression 77185 Lognes
Photo de couverture : D.R. last December. A great deal of work lies ahead. ❚❚


Modeling Takes a Close
Look at Itself
In December of 2016, in what was a world
first, the French National Center for Scientific
Research (CNRS) and the French Academy
of Technology organized an unprecedented
modeling colloquium. The purpose of which
was to reflect on the successes and especially Pangea’s compute blades are connected by almost 120 km of optical fibers.
the limitations of numerical models. “There
has never been a colloquium to critically
examine and ask general questions about Algorithms
numerical modeling. In scientific circles, it 6.7 PETAFLOPS FOR TOTAL
remains a technical subject,” said Alain Pavé,
a lecturer/researcher, biological modeling In 2016, Total tripled the capacity and 9.2 petabytes of storage. The
expert, member of the French Academy of of its Pangea supercomputer from latest version uses M-Cell techno-
Technology, and the colloquium’s co- 2.3 to 6.7 petaflops. In November logy and has an extra 4,608 nodes
organizer. This first colloquium carefully put 2016, this computer was placed 16th based on Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 V3
to one side controversial issues such as the on the Top500 list, which ranks all processor - i.e. 110,592 computing
validity of the world’s supercomputers accor- cores and an additional 589 terabytes
“The issue here is not particular ding to their computing power. “This of memory. Its storage capacity has
about limiting or models - power will help us improve our per- been increased to 18.4 petabytes.
developing computing especially in formance and cut costs,” said Arnaud This increased power will enable
power, but rather economics - Breuillac, president of exploration Total to use algorithms developed
reflecting on how to the & production at Total. Pangea is a by its R&D department. These algo-
make better use of it.” transparency decision-support tool for oilfield rithms are used to image increasingly
of simulation exploitation and management. The complex zones and numerically simu-
tools on the market, and ethical questions. previous version - built from SGI’s late oilfields, integrating 3D seismic
These issues will be studied at the next Ice X supercomputer - had 110 Intel data relating to an area on a given
colloquium, planned for the end of 2017. Xeon E5-2670 V1 processing cores timescale. ❚❚ Jean-François Prevéraud
Speakers sought to answer three simpler
questions: Do we need ever more computing
power? Should models be simplified or made
more complex? Can modeling be a vehicle of Computing
communication between scientific,
technological, and economic players? “To a
great extent, these questions contain their POWERFUL
own answers,” said Pavé. Yet these are not SUPERCOMPUTER IS
bland topics, as Alain Fuchs - president of 100% CHINESE
the CNRS - observed during his introductory
address at the colloquium: “The issue here is The world’s most powerful supercomputer is
not about limiting or developing computing Chinese. The Sunway Taihulight supercompu-
power, but rather reflecting on how to make ter has a total of 40,960 processors. What’s
better use of it,” Fuschs said from the distinctive is that they are ShenWei - i.e. the sunway taihulight supercomputer has
outset, before alerting attendees to 100% Chinese - rather than Intel processors. a theoretical performance of 125.4 petaflops.
numerical simulation’s false charms, These ShenWei processors were developed
especially in its scientific field of expertise: by the Chinese National Center for High- supercomputer is three times more powerful
“Molecular simulation has been slightly Performance Systems Engineering Research than the Chinese Tianhe-2 system, which
oversold to the pharmaceuticals industry.” (NRCPC). Each processor has 3 teraflops of was until now the world’s top-ranked super-
Could this be another topic for the next power and 260 cores. This supercomputer computer. It is also five times more powerful
colloquium? ❚❚ aurélie BarBaux is housed at the National Supercomputing than the fastest US system - Titan - which

Center in Wuxi, near Shanghai and has a is currently ranked third in the world. Japan
theoretical performance of 125.4 petaflops has announced its intention to develop a
(millions of billions of floating point opera- 130-petaflop supercomputer with Fujistu by
tions per second). The Sunway Taihulight 2018. ❚❚ Juliette raynal


Industry ccrT
FOR NAVAL SHIPBUILDING CCRT, the consortium set up
to provide high performance
DCNS, Centrale Nantes engineering school computing resources, has acquired
and the University of Nantes have set up a Bull’s Cobalt supercomputer,
joint laboratory of marine technology (JLMT) capable of 1,479 petaflops at peak
to innovate in the field of naval shipbuilding. power, three times more powerful
The laboratory will have a budget of 4.5 mil- than the current computer
lion euros for its operations over a three-year installed in 2012 (420 teraflops).
period. It will support the teams at Centrale DCNS, Centrale Nantes and the University of Nantes The CCRT is a partnership
Nantes and the University of Nantes, which formalize the set up of the JLMT on October 14, 2016. between the CEA and 13 French
also receive funding from the French National manufacturers requiring large
Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the hydrodynamics; multiphysics modeling for scientific computations, including
research and technology departments of DCNS numerical simulation of innovative structures Airbus Defence and Space, Areva,
Research. Some thirty researchers will focus and materials; and additive manufacturing of EDF, Herakles, L’Oréal, Safran,
on three scientific topics: simulators for naval large-scale components. ❚❚ A. B. Thales, Snecma, Turbomeca
and Valeo.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
Industrialists have known for thirty years ly created the Digimu chair. Headed by has bought Silicon Graphics, once
how to simulate materials at the macro Marc Bernacki, a teacher at the School’s the top contender in high
level. However, it is now known that the Materials Training Center (Cemef ), and performance computing, for
properties of metal parts (resistance to with a budget of 1.23 million euros over 275 million dollars. The star
fatigue, corrosion, etc.) depend on their four years, it brings together eight partners, of computing in the 1980s and
microstructure, which can be modi- six of whom are industrialists (ArcelorMittal, 1990s, the American enterprise
fied by a large number of mechanisms Areva, Ascometal, Aubert &Duval, CEA and had already been taken over by
(heat treatments, deformations, etc.). To Safran), as well as Transvalor, Mines Paris- Rackable in 2009, after filing for
study and simulate these evolutions in a Tech’s valuation and transfer subsidiary that bankruptcy. The acquisition of the
software program, Mines ParisTech recent- publishes the software. ❚❚ A. B. business and its 1,100 employees
across the world offers HPE a
means to consolidate its position,
especially in the public sector and
life sciences research areas.
A simulator to better compensate for vibrations
When the engines start up, the whole cargo begins Start-up
to vibrate. All vessel components run the risk of SIMFORHEALTH
being damaged, including the electrical connectors, SIMULATES HEALTH
the powertrain, pipes, floors, ceilings and even the Located in Bordeaux, France,
ship’s hull. To limit potential damage, particularly Interaction Healthcare is a start-
with the help of active devices to offset the up to keep an eye on. Specializing
vibrations, the German laboratories of Fraunhofer in digital simulation of clinical
Adaptronics Alliance have developed a simulation cases, the company raised
software program. This embedded system 5 million euros in 2016 from
simulates the vibrations along with the effects the investment fund Audacia,
of “adaptronics” systems capable of reducing Bpifrance and France’s Nouvelle
them, using sensors to measure the local vibrations Aquitaine region. Its purpose:
and produce counter-vibrations. The simulator to develop Simforhealth, an
immersive and interactive serious

dispenses with the need for costly prototypes
and can be used in other fields besides game approach to training health
shipbuilding. ❚❚ ThIerry LucaS care professionals.


Numtech’s online NOA (news on your
atmosphere) service, available on the
Fitbit and Runtastic platforms, provides
a health index according to air quality,
weather risks, and users’ geolocation
and health status. “We calculate air
quality to a resolution of 5­10 meters,”
said Pierre Beal, Numtech’s CEO. “This
provides data about your particular street
rather than the one next to it.” Weather
and pollutant­dispersion data relies on
a modest­sized intensive computing
platform (20 teraflops). Air­quality fore­
casts are then fine­tuned using a big
data platform.

Nexio Technologies, a Toulouse­based
SME, has specialized in reducing com­
Diota was rewarded for its augmented reality software dedicated to industry. puting time in order to make a name
for itself in electromagnetic simulation.
Competition Nexio was one of the first companies
to offer a model­reduction technique
DIOTA - NUMERICAL SIMULATION based on adaptive cross approximation
(ACA). In this way model size, and hence
TROPHIES GRAND PRIZE WINNER computing time, have been reduced ten­
fold. With help from the French General

T he winners of the 2017 Numerical
Simulation Trophies, organized by
Usine Digitale in partnership with Tera­
is well on the way to achieving its goal.
Catia Composer, Dassault Systèmes’
design software, already features a ‘Diota’
Directorate for Armament and the HPC­
SME Program, Nexio has integrated
parallel computing techniques to distri­
tec were revealed at the École Polytech­ button for exporting CAD models to an bute operations over several processors.
nique on 28 June 2016. Jean Gonnord, augmented reality application. Further A feat that has caught the eye of a major
former head of the numerical simulation announcements are expected with lea­ Japanese group, interested in the simu­
program at the French Atomic Energy ding software vendors. lation of electromagnetic fields on an
and Alternative Energy Commission entire plane.
(CEA), received the simulation Person StARt-UP tRoPHY REAlIZ3D
of the Year trophy. The other five prize­ Imagine you could visit the apartment or collABoRAtIoN tRoPHY
winners were as follows: house of your choice before it was even oNERA AND ANDHEo
built. Realiz3D, a Paris­based start­up, Computing time is now 300 times fas­
GRAND PRIZE DIotA offers precisely this service without any ter, with only a tiny loss of accuracy. A
Diota was set up in 2009 and has be­ need to install customers’ software. You new milestone has been reached in the
come well­known with its augmented can explore properties in 3D, choose area of multiphysics simulation thanks
reality software designed for industry, options, view the rendering, and find to a partnership between the French
which operates without ‘markers’. This out the cost all on a simple tablet. Aerospace Research Agency (ONERA)
software immediately identifies any Realiz3D developed its cloud compu­ and the SME Andheo. Aerothermal cou­
object whose 3D model is in its library, ting servers and very greedy algorithm pling, an innovative technique developed
whereas other software programs have for graphics processing in collaboration by ONERA’s researchers, was at the ori­
to spatially locate before recognizing with the French Institute for Research gin of this project. The Safran Group soon
objects. The technology was developed in Computer Science and Automation expressed interest in the technique, and
in partnership with the CEA. The other (INRIA). The company’s platform has Andheo applied the methods developed
benefit of this software is that augmented 35.4 teraflops of computing power, by ONERA’s researchers. Flight simula­
reality applications can be created in a which is enough for 200­250 users at tion, including take­off, cruising, changes
few clicks. With customers including To­ once. Around thirty customers from in altitude, and landing, now takes just
tal, Diota hopes to become the European the construction industry, including two hours. An overall view of engine
leader in industrial augmented reality Bouygues and Vinci, are already using stress is enabling Safran to fine­tune its
within the next two years. The company Realiz3D, available since 2013. analyses. ❚❚ tHE EDItoRIAl StAFF

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We will shortly achieve exascale computing power (a billion
INTERVIEW billion operations per second) and our electronic circuits will

“WE Will BuilD
soon be at the limits of Moore’s Law. Computer cores will be
so dense that we’ll have reached the limit of matter. And so
much heat will be given off that it will be impossible to cool

supercomputers. It’s now that we need to start working on
the next generation, i.e. quantum computers.

How are we preparing for quantum computing?

ComPutERs” Teams must be trained to work as though we already had
quantum computers. We’re already one of the first companies
able to simulate quantum computers in our high-performance
systems. This year, we’re launching our first quantum learning
machines to train our own engineers. These machines simu-
For thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, training late up to 40 qubits (quantum bits), which, according to the
principle of superposition, can simultaneously have the values
new generations of engineers in quantum of 0 and 1 in quantum computing. This exponentially increases
computing and artificial intelligence is more quantum computers’ processing capacity. The difficulty lies
in making these qubit sets, which encounter decoherence
than a need it’s a duty. problems in preserving the quantum laws of superposition
INTERVIEWED BY AuRélIE BARBAux AND PAscAl GATEAuD and entanglement. As soon as a system is entangled with
other external systems, it loses its quantum capacity. Daniel
Estève’s team at the French Atomic Energy and Alternative
Energies Commission (CEA), one of Atos Quantum’s scientific
People have been talking about an «Airbus of high-performance councils, is working to make hybrid quantum circuits,
computing.» The project is backed by France, Italy, spain and coupling superconducting qubits and qubits created from
luxembourg, with Atos playing a central role. How far have we diamond impurities. His teams are striving to produce new
got with this? generations of circuits that operate as long as possible without
Europe has decided to accentuate the roll-out of super- decoherence. Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, with
computers (HPCs). The pioneering countries you mentioned which we have links, is working on another type of technology:
supported the idea and we’ve done everything to bring photonic computers at room temperature.
in Germany too. The European Commission is aiming to
create a major European HPC industry by developing an What is the next stage?
ecosystem that includes semiconductors. The Commission Our objective is to train new generations of engineers for
also wants to raise awareness of HPCs as a major driver the arrival of these quantum computers, sometime between
of productivity and innovation by promoting their use in 2025 and 2035. Although quantum computers will have
research institutes and universities. The purpose is to work extraordinary computing power, they’ll probably be coupled
out new uses, algorithms and applications, especially in the or connected to a HPC. And Atos will build them; it’s what
field of artificial intelligence. As the world number three and we do. This is also a European sovereignty issue. For the
leading European manufacturer of supercomputers, Atos is time being, however, there is no language, programming, or
obviously a major stakeholder in this project. interface. We therefore need to train young scientists to think
with almost infinite computing power and have a different
Atos invests heavily in R&D. What are your main research understanding of modeling, simulation, and programming.
topics? We are of course also working on cryptology. This is because
Atos has 16 R&D centers worldwide and invests 300 million when the first quantum computer becomes operational, it will
Euros a year in research and development. We establish our be so powerful that it will be able to crack all RSA encryption
research areas and needs up to 2025-2030 with our clients. algorithms, which form the basis of many current security
Whether companies or governments, our partners know how systems. An Atos team is studying algorithms that can resist
to anticipate the volume of data they will have to process. attack from quantum computers. This is obviously of interest
to the French Network and Information Security Agency
(ANSSI), with which we collaborate. We must get ready to
protect 5G communications, which will be arriving in 2019
“teams must be trained to work as or 2020. Quantum-safe algorithms should be ready before
the arrival of quantum computers.
though we already had quantum
computers. this year, we’re launching Who is funding this quantum computing research?
our first quantum learning machines The US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department
to train our own engineers.” of Defense fund our American competitors. The Chinese


have government funding. Our research is done with a for medical applications. Artificial intelligence such as that
small amount of external funding. We’re following with developed by Atos, i.e. mainly for industrial use, is not at this
interest the European Commission’s initiatives, not only for stage. Once we’ve achieved the computing power expected
developing standard HPCs but also for quantum computing. by 2025-2030, we’ll have completely changed our capacity
The Commission, which has launched a quantum sensors to anticipate and will need specialists and users fully trained
and computers program with over 1.3 billion euros of fun- in this new environment. From an ethical perspective, there’s
ding, is fully aware that quantum physics will be one of the obviously a risk while this knowledge and control of its use
21st century’s real technological and scientific revolutions. is in the hands of a few people. But I’ve been following these
issues for a long time and remain basically optimistic. Let’s
Artificial intelligence is expected to be one these 21st-century remember that we’re dealing with long cycles. Technological
revolutions. Do you see an ethical problem with it? changes are never achieved in less than 25 years, i.e. a gene-
Artificial intelligence certainly raises issues since it will ration. Let’s face up to our responsibilities, it’s up to us to
provide ever greater capacity to assist decision-making. We train and raise the awareness of those who will come after us.
PAsCAl GuittEt

need to integrate this capacity. There are obviously important This duty to hand on to the next generation is, in a nutshell,
political aspects, especially with regard to protecting privacy the history of scientific and technological development and,
and individuals. Bioethics is becoming an essential matter indeed, the history of humankind. ❚❚

l’usINE NouVEllE i sPECiAl FEAtuRE MAGAZiNE N° 2 i APRil 6 2017 9



Setting SigHtS
On eLeCtRiC
Driven by environmental constraints, electric propulsion
is now essential in every sector: from the car
and aeronautics industries to shipbuilding and the space
industry. Now it’s time to optimize electric propulsion
by simulating systems.
by gUiLLaUme LeCOmPte-bOinet

ransport, and not just the car industry, is in-
creasingly backing electric power. Manufacturers,
laboratories, technological research institutes,
and universities are all working to find reliable
electric drivetrain and propulsion solutions for
cars, ships, satellites, and other aircraft. There are plenty of
challenges. We need to switch to new generation batteries,
adapt fuel cells, integrate these new systems into cabins
and ships hulls, and ensure they are completely safe. Every
means of transport has specific obstacles to be overcome.
In the car industry, battery life and cost must be drastically
improved. Faster positioning of electric-powered satellites is
required in the space industry. And one of the shipbuilding
industry’s constraints is electrical-equipment size. Manu-
facturers and laboratories are using numerical simulation
tools for this work to partly do without expensive physical
tests. Some tasks, such as modeling system architecture, can
be done using existing tools on the market, such as Catia
The HY4 is and Dymola. But for most simulation, manufacturers and
an electrically research centers have to develop their own codes using gene-
4 passenger ric Matlan or Comsol tools. Whether for simulating airflows
aircraft in the aeronautics industry or batteries’ electrochemistry in
developed the car industry, the issues are too specific for commercial
by DLR, software. More and more partnerships are therefore springing
the German
up between industry and research laboratories, sometimes
research even leading to the establishment of research chairs. ❚❚

L’usine nouveLLe i SPECiAL FEATURE MAGAZiNE N° 2 i APRiL 6 2017 11

THE CAR INDUSTRY f they still needed any convincing, the pollution peaks
experienced in France’s big cities this winter should

WinninG tHe Race
reinforce car manufacturers in their decision to opt
for electric cars. According to Volkswagen, which has
announced plans to launch around thirty electric car

foR BatteRy life
models by 2025, this will be a major growth market. The
French manufacturer Renault, which has long believed
in electric cars and has invested 4 billion euros in them
since 2010, has just launched the Zoé 3. Renault expects
to sell over 100,000 Zoé 3s by 2020, and has already sold
24,000 Zoé 2s in 2016 and a total of 50,000 Zoés since
Modeling batteries and fuel cells will play launching this model.
a vital role in car manufacturers’ progress In the US, Tesla and Panasonic have invested 5 billion
dollars in a huge battery factory, while Daimler plans to
over the next five years. steal a march on Tesla by releasing a dozen electric car
By Guillaume lecompte-Boinet models between now and 2020-2025. Chinese car manu-
facturers are also making rapid progress. Toyota, one of the

trailblazers with its hybrid vehicles, did not hesitate about
launching into highly advanced fuel cell technology with


Zoé 3’s secrets
Renault redoubled Whereas Renault’s star electric charger for alternating current
its inventiveness car, the Zoé 2, only had an nEDC (AC) battery charging. A power
to extend (new European Driving Cycle) inverter between the battery
the Zoé 3’s range.
This model can rated range of approximately and engine converts the battery’s
now be driven 200 km, i.e. without using direct current into alternating
400 km without on-board electrical accessories current. “This system
recharging (air conditioning, radio, etc.), is 3-4 times cheaper and
the battery.
the Zoé 3’s nEDC range the Chameleon charger has
is 400 km (270-300 km enabled us to add 30 km
in normal conditions). Renault to the Zoé’s range,” said Soulas.
has reworked all the Zoé’s main Another innovation is a reversible
components to achieve this heat pump to control
result. its lithium-ion battery the air-conditioning system,
capacity was increased from which has given another 15 km
22 kWh to 41 kWh and is just of range. Renault has also gained
21 kg heavier (total battery approximately 20 km
weight: 300 kg). “We’ve also by developing a new more
increased engine efficiency,” efficient regenerative braking
explained Marc Soulas, Renault’s system. This recovers energy,
vice-president for electric-vehicle which is continuously converted
engineering. Renault’s teams by the Chameleon system
made the engine more compact and stored in the battery. ❚❚
by optimizing its power
electronics, for example by using
a wound rotor and low-friction
bearings. One of the new Zoé’s
secrets is its built-in Chameleon

its Mirai. “We sold 3,000 Mirai models in 2016 and bank battery without spending the night in a hotel. Renault has
on selling 30,000 by 2020,” said Gerald Killmann, vice- surpassed a symbolic milestone by practically doubling the
president R&D of Toyota Motor Europe. In a sign of the Zoé’s range to almost 300 km in normal driving conditions
times, the French government has just decided to abolish (400 km, according to the New European Driving Cycle
the environmental bonus for hybrid vehicles (except for [NEDC]). “We’ve worked on all the main drivechain com-
rechargeable models) and focus this tax incentive on 100% ponents: battery, engine, and charging system,” said Soulas
electric cars. [see box below].
Due to the complexity of what happens inside batteries,
Modeling to limit Risks numerical simulation is essential to make lithium-ion
But despite these announcements, it should not be batteries more compact and increase their life without
forgotten that this very new market’s future involves threatening safety. An electrochemical reaction
tackling a few challenges. “When it comes to elec- simulation issues occurs between lithium-ion batteries’ two elec-
tric cars, it’s quite simple: we need to increase battery ◗ Increasing lithium-ion trodes (the positive anode and negative cathode)
life, reduce charging time without impairing battery life, battery life thanks to active materials, which enable lithium
and of course lower the price and hence cut costs,” said ◗ Testing new types of
ions to migrate from one electrode to the other.
Marc Soulas, Renault’s vice-president for electric-vehicle battery and their The anode is made of a nickel/manganese/cobalt
engineering. Generally speaking, buyers look at the cost of components ceramic compound, while graphite is generally used
a vehicle before taking an interest in its pollution level. And ◗ Making fuel cells more for the cathode. Migration must be quick and comple-
travelers want to know if they will be able to charge their car compact and cheaper tely reversible if batteries are to have a long enough

l’USINE NoUvEllE i SPECiAL FEATURE MAgAZinE n° 2 i APRiL 6 2017 13

“We’re also studying lithium-sulfur technology”

cédRic cHaZel, applications and hence increase phase. For this work, we all meet up
CNRS researcher and RS2E network’s battery life. The more the active every six months with 15 or so
intellectual property manager material functions at high potential, industrial partners, including Renault,
(17 universities, 3 technology transfer the better the battery will perform. Airbus, and the RS2E network. There
centers, and approximately 15 industrial But some phenomena have to be are still a lot of real-life experiments
partners) modeled on a larger space-time scale to be carried out!
(10 nanometers and
What is the role of numerical simulation in 100 nanoseconds). We also work on What are the alternatives to lithium-ion
your battery research? an even bigger space-time scale batteries?
We need to understand ion diffusion (1 micrometer and 0.1 seconds), for We’re exploring several avenues of
and transport properties in electrodes example, to improve characterization research at the Laboratory for
and electrolytes according to the of phenomena at the interfaces of Reactivity and Solids Chemistry
electrochemical system. Simulation various materials. (LRCS) in Amiens: lithium-air
helps give us a quicker understanding batteries, of course - which still need
of how a battery’s active materials What practical results do you expect to a lot of research - as well as lithium-
behave. obtain from this? sulfur batteries. This technology is
We’re carrying out fundamental very promising for both the car and
What type of simulation do you carry out? theoretical research to find the best aeronautics industries. We’re also
We carry out infinitely small active materials for improving battery studying a battery that self-charges by
calculations on a space-time scale of performance. Our industrial partners light. ❚❚
0.1 nanometer and 100 picoseconds. will then have the major task of
This helps us bring to light promising working out dimensions. This is
active materials for various when we move into the engineering

life. “A battery’s properties, its power and energy density, it is highly reactive and may endanger passengers. Another
depend on the active materials,” explained Cédric Chazel, a avenue that has been explored is enriching graphite with
CNRS researcher and RS2E network’s intellectual property silicon, again to store more lithium. But here too, there are
manager. Chazel works at the Laboratory for Reactivity and material stability issues.
Solids Chemistry (LRCS) in Amiens, especially on modeling
lithium-ion batteries by coding in tools such as Matlab New Avenues of Research Worth Exploring
and Comsol. One of the key issues in our modeling work Safety is at the heart of all these challenges. We can all
is studying active materials’ diffusion mechanisms,” said recall cases of lithium-ion batteries exploding or catching
Julien Marie, team leader of Renault’s battery development fire, whether in Boeing 787s or smartphones. For this reason,
project. Active materials migrate through layers of alumi- simulation is also used to sort out thermal issues. “During
num and copper, which form a very complex environment. motorway journeys, drivers need to recharge their car battery
Due to a lack of simulation tools on the market, Renault’s quickly, which means having an appropriate, effective cooling
simulation work is the result of codes developed in-house. system,” said Marie. Renault’s teams are working on these
Renault has used data from PhD theses it funded. One goal issues, especially via Catia numerical-design tools to simulate
is to make the top of batteries less bulky so that they lie as heating/cooling cycles. Renault has also developed its own
flat as possible and are better integrated into the chassis. tools that engineers code in Matlab. “We specify the physical
Researchers are also trying to optimize the amount of active laws and the system calculates everything automatically,”
materials according to the battery life and power desired. said Marie. Based on these calculations, Renault is expected
Basically, the more active materials there are in batteries, to opt for a liquid (water or fluid) cooling system for the Zoé
the heavier they are and the longer battery life they have. rather than an air-cooling system.
For this reason, hybrid vehicles’ rechargeable batteries Other teams are using “entropimetry” to measure battery
have very thin cells, short charging time, but less battery charge and health status. Rachid Yazami, a CNRS resear-
life. “We constantly have to trade off all these factors,” said cher on a temporary assignment at Nanyang Technological
Marie. Experiments to vary the composition of active mate- University in Singapore, is working in this field. “Analyzing
rials have also been carried out. For example, increasing entropy/enthalpy charts enables us to establish with great

the amount of nickel in order to store more lithium. But precision not only a battery’s health status but also to some
manufacturers need to keep checks on this cocktail since extent its history, i.e. the conditions in which it has aged.


fuel cells - a credible alternative
Toyota took a rather wild gamble
in marketing an electric car
powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
This technology’s only
by-product is water. After several
years’ development, Toyota
designed the first prototypes
on big SUV models in 2008.
“The key issue was having a
compact size for when we want to
incorporate it into smaller sedan
cars,” explained gerald Killmann,
vice-president R&D of Toyota 700 bars in complete safety. “We Toyota’s Mirai
Motor Europe. Toyota continued designed the fuel cell ourselves,” has just two
hydrogen fuel
its research, modeling areas such said Killmann. The Mirai has just cells for a
as computational fluid dynamics two fuel cells - compared to four lighter engine
(CFD), electrochemistry, and in the first prototypes - to make
mechanics, generally using its the engine a few kilos lighter.
‘in-house’ code in MATLAB and Research was also carried out
Catia. This resulted in the Mirai, on the electrolyte membrane,
which has been on the market making it two-thirds thinner so
since 2015. it takes just that hydrogen can circulate more
a few minutes to fill up the Mirai easily. Toyota has made the fuel
with hydrogen for a range cell 48% lighter and 26% more
of approximately 500 km. One powerful. Many challenges still
of the critical issues in fuel-cell need to be tackled, above all
cars is their hydrogen tank, which the price since the Mirai currently
has to store 5 kg of hydrogen at costs almost 80,000 euros. ❚❚

Simulating thermodynamic diagrams enables us to predict architecture (rectifiers, transistors, power inverters, etc.).
battery lifespan,” explained Yazami. “We’re currently at the stage in which these new generation
All this research will eventually enable batteries to be components are only just coming out of research laborato-
recharged faster in complete safety. But that’s not all since ries,” said Soulas.
modern electric vehicles also feature power electronics, One of the issues occupying manufacturers and resear-
which helps reduce heat loss while also enabling more chers is whether or not there is a credible alternative to
electrical power to pass through the same volume. Power lithium-ion technology, which has an energy density of
electronics is one factor influencing charging capacity. 150-200 Wh/kg. Several avenues are emerging, the most
Silicon chips are commonly used in today’s car industry. promising of which is lithium-air technology. Lithium-
But new gallium-based components will be arriving from air batteries are said to provide almost ten times more
2020-2022 onwards. These components will take things energy density than lithium-ion batteries, as well as being
to the next level, increasing battery performance by 10-20%. 2-3 times lighter. Electric cars fitted with this technology
To achieve this goal, Renault is working with the French could see their range soar to over 600 km. “Lithium-air
Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), batteries represent a half-way house between lithium-ion
research laboratories, and components manufacturers such batteries and fuel cells,” said Chazel, whose laboratory
as STMicroelectronics and Infineon on new component (LRCS) is also working on this technology. The LRCS is

modeling oxygen diffusion in porous carbon electrodes, as
well as migration to the other electrode, and management
of humidity problems linked to the introduction of oxygen.
“It’s still very hard to tell if this technology will replace
new gallium-based components will be arriving lithium-ion batteries since research on cell optimization
from 2020-2022 onwards. these components will has so far been unsuccessful,” said Yazami. It will probably
take things to the next level, increasing battery be almost another ten years before lithium-air batteries are
performance by 10-20%. ready for mass production. ❚❚


■ Mastering technology ■ Support for SME
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Although onera’s distributed propulsion plane (see top) is still at the planning stage, siemen’s extra 330Le and Airbus’s e-Fan are already in test flights.

AeronAutics he aeronautics industry has long drawn attention
to the figure of 3%, which is roughly the share

of greenhouse gases emitted by air transport.
Although this figure may seem low, climate
change means aircraft and components manu-

facturers have no choice but to continue their efforts to make
planes more energy efficient. Great progress has been made
in this field and modern Airbus A350 aircraft are 60% more
energy efficient than their equivalent model in the 1970s.
But the number of planes worldwide is due to double over
the next twenty years, meaning that these efforts will soon
Researchers and manufacturers are working be wiped out. Unless, that is, the aeronautics industry and
hard to drastically reduce aircraft pollution. researchers find a winning formula.
The most obvious line of research to stop pollutant emis-
Hybridization seems to be the most sion is to switch over to all-electric aircraft, which operate on
promising and achievable solution. an apparently simple principle: the propeller is driven by an
electric motor powered by a battery or fuel cell. Airbus and
by Guillaume lecompte-boinet Boeing have already worked on this concept by developing
light aircraft prototypes. The most well-known model is


La référence des professionnels de l’industrie
pour comprendre et agir avant les autres
“We can only model
what we already know”
24 h

What are the main challenges?
Generally speaking, CFD is
well under control. Thanks
in particular to our wind
tunnels enabling us to Le web abonnés L’hebdomadaire Industrie Explorer
check simulation results, La veille par email
« L’Usine en régions »
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Jean we’ve made enormous + L’intégralité des articles web + Les numéros spéciaux, (en mode consultation)
+ Les archives depuis 1994 dont le Guide de l’ingénieur
Hermetz, progress. We’re constantly
assistant director of Onera’s improving the codes.
system design and performance But we’re still running into Une vision unique Un décryptage exclusif
evaluation department (DCPS) difficulties with some de l’industrie en France de la digitalisation de l’industrie
types of airflow modeling, et dans le monde et des services

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Mme M. Nom :
on hybrid electric planes, aiming to achieve power in excess
of 10 megawatts. “By 2030, we hope to be flying a hybrid Prénom :

electric plane that can carry up to 100 passengers over a Fonction :

distance of 1,000 km,” said Frank Anton, head of eAircraft Société :

at Siemens’s research center. This means getting a plane into Adresse :

the air that is 50 times heavier than the Extra 330. Code postal : Ville :

One of the problems with all-electric aircraft is that li- Tél. :

thium-ion batteries, which the E-Fan is fitted with, do not Activité :

have enough density compared to kerosene. “You need a Siret :

60 kg battery to obtain the same energy density as 1 kg of Code NAF:

kerosene,” said Jean Hermetz, assistant director of the sys- Email : @
tem design and performance evaluation department at the *TVA : 2,10% - Offre France métropolitaine avec Industrie Explorer en mode consultation et hors Indices & Cotations, réservée aux nouveaux abonnés

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L’usine nouveLLe i SPECiAL FEATURE MAGAZiNE N° 2 i APRiL 6 2017 19

Hybrid plane architecture
Developing electric-propelled Finally, researchers and aircraft
planes will involve a hybrid phase, manufacturers are also working
as in the car industry. Several on a third option called serial
types of architecture are being architecture. This involves
studied, the first of which turning a propeller using
involves turning a propeller by an electric motor that is itself
either a gas turbine engine or powered by either a fuel cell (very
electric motor in parallel likely scenario) or standard gas
configuration. Planes are electric turbine engine. This removes
propelled during take-off and the need for a battery, which is
landing, while thermal power replaced by a power electronics
takes over during a flight’s cruise device to optimize management
phase. The second type of of the propulsion system.
architecture is continuous power Unlike the first two options,
by an internal combustion engine the internal combustion engine
and electric motor on the same is disconnected from the
propeller shaft, with tasks shared propeller. if the fuel-cell option
similarly to parallel architecture. is chosen, this third alternative
Both concepts require batteries will definitely be the most
Architecture of an internal combustion engine and electric motor to store electrical power and eco-friendly solution since planes
on the same propeller shaft. release it at the right time. will be truly zero emission. ❚❚

aviation fuel. Unless, that is, batteries are improved. As Onera’s research carried out using its in-house Elsa
part of the RSE2 network, Airbus is working on lithium- siMuLAtion issues simulation tool, aims to extract characteristic quantities
air batteries with the Laboratory for Reactivity and Solids ◗ Simulating hybrid in pressure, speed, etc., fluctuations. Interpretation
Chemistry (LRCS) in Amiens. These batteries are said to pro- planes’ airflow of these fluctuations will help evaluate plane lift and
vide ten times more energy density and are also three times ◗ Studying the impact of drag data. Onera’s Ampère project seeks to prove that
lighter [see page 16]. This is a key point for the aviation electromagnetic waves excellent results can be obtained in boundary layer
industry. Many challenges still need to be tackled for this ◗ Developing lithium-air absorption. The boundary layer is the thin (barely a
technology to reach maturity. In the meantime, hybridization batteries few centimeters thick) air layer between air ‘stuck’
seems to be the compromise solution to achieve sufficient to the fuselage, circulating at the same speed as the
energy density. plane, and external air at zero speed. “If we can absorb this
boundary layer via the motors, we can recover unused energy
Distributed Propulsion by a series of Motors and improve overall propulsive efficiency,” explained Hermetz.
Onera is testing a distributed propulsion concept as part Research in progress includes work on fuel cells, especially
of its Ampère project. Thirty or so small electric motors are electron exchange with the electrolyte membrane. The Safran
distributed along the plane’s airfoil. The advantage of these Group, Airbus, Onera, and the French Atomic Energy and
motors is that they can be used to control the plane (which Alternative Energies Commission are carrying out research
avoids any need for wings with moveable flaps) and also to bring this technology to aircraft. One project is modeling
improve aircraft lift at low speed. Onera carries out a great a complete system, including a fuel cell, using Catia finite
deal of numerical simulation [see interview on previous element meshing, which divides what must be modeled
page] and is now specializing in it. One of Onera’s main into small elements, reducing it to a point cloud. Hydrogen
research areas is fluid dynamics, studying airflows all along tanks are also a special focus of research since hydrogen is
the fuselage. a flammable gas.
Another less well-known but nevertheless very strategic
project is electromagnetic compatibility. By integrating more
and more electric power, aircraft manufacturers will have to
redesign the architecture of future planes to protect onboard
“by 2030, we hope to be flying equipment (especially avionics). Onera and Safran are actively

a hybrid electric plane that can carry up working on this issue. Onera has developed a calculation chain
to 100 passengers over a distance to determine electrical systems’ radiation levels and study their
repercussions on planes. This is absolutely essential since
of 1,000 km.”
aircraft manufacturers may have to shield or move critical
Frank anton, head of eAircraft at Siemens equipment. Simulation projects are far from over. ❚❚

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computer modeling is the core technological
challenge facing electric satellites in order
to reduce transfer time into orbit and enhance
engine design.
by Guillaume lecompte-boinet

ill 100% electric satellite propulsion someday
replace today’s chemical thrusters? In all
likelihood, yes they will, but probably not
completely. Nevertheless, each year electric-
powered satellites are becoming increasingly
common and may well account for more than 50% of market
share in the near future. The latest development in the family
is Eutelsat 172B, built by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS)
based on the Eurostar E3000 EOR platform. The 3.4-ton
satellite, slated to be put in geostationary orbit in April of this
year, will have 13 kilowatts of embedded power and operate
entirely on xenon-powered ion engines for transfer into orbit
and station-keeping throughout the satellite’s useful life span.
“This is the first fully electric European satellite,” declares
ADS. The advantages of electric propulsion are now well
known: a 40%-50% increase in mass compared with che-
mical thrusters and less bulk, allowing more room for the
payload. By comparison, to embed an equivalent payload, the
chemical version of Eutelsat 172B would weigh 5.5-6 tons!
At only 3.5 tons, the electric platform can travel with ano-
ther satellite in the Ariane 5 nosecone, thereby significantly
cutting launch costs.
But there is however, one major drawback: positioning an
electric satellite takes between six months with a Hall effect
plasma engine and nine months with an ion engine. Though
they are extremely energy efficient, electric engines have much
less “push” than propellant-powered engines: about 100-150
millinewtons compared with 400 newtons for a chemical
thruster, i.e. a ratio of 1 to 4,000. The space industry’s leading
challenge is to shorten the time periods, particularly by means Two electric propulsion satellites:
the Eutelsat 172B (above)
of digital simulation, as physical tests are considerably more and the Smart-1. The blue light
complicated to perform in space. “To diminish the duration under the Smart-1 is emitted
of orbital transfer, one can either increase engine power or by xenon atoms.


“thanks to simulation, we can save
two weeks or even up to one month
on orbital transfer time.”
Didier leboulch, manager of R&d and product policy
at Thales Alenia space

use more engines, keeping in mind that the electric power
available on satellites depends directly on the capacity of their
solar panels,” explains Nicolas de Chanaud, deputy manager
of the Safran Aircraft Engines electric propulsion program.
The satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space (TAS), which
developed the all-electric Spacebus Neo platform, also designed
a rolling solar generator system similar to window blinds.
“The generators will be slightly less efficient, but the surface
is greater, and will therefore be more powerful,” explains
Didier Leboulch, manager of R&D and product policy at TAS.
The PPS 5000 thruster, currently being tested by SAE,
Reducing positioning time posts 5 kW of power.
Computer modeling is required to optimize these techno-
logical breakthroughs and work is currently under way on safran aircraft engines
engines at Safran Aircraft Engines [see insert]. For satellite
manufacturers, it is crucial to streamline the satellite’s path establishes a chair of modeling
between its ejection from the launcher and its final orbit The topic is of such critical manager of sAe’s electric
36,000 kilometers from Earth. “Thanks to simulation, importance for space propulsion propulsion program.
we can save two weeks or even up to one month on manufacturers that a research The research agenda includes
tHe cHallenGes
orbital transfer time,” emphasizes Didier Leboulch. oF simulation chair has been established developing new design
These complex calculations, carried out by TAS using to study plasma thrusters and methodologies to achieve
◗ Reduce by a few days
coding developed in-house, involves modeling all or even a few weeks their digital simulation. The chair a better balance between
the phenomena that affect the satellite during flight: the time required to was officially inaugurated simulation and physical testing,
gravity gradients, propulsion, the Earth’s gravity, solar position electric satellites on January 27th by safran Aircraft which is very costly. “Today we
pressure, etc. Due to their slowness, electric satellites ◗ Improve engine engines (sAe), the plasma are bench testing our pps 5000
must contend with more random factors than their output physics Laboratory (Lpp) engine over a period of more than
chemical counterparts. The manufacturers and the at École polytechnique 15,000 hours, with end-of-life
French Space Agency (Cnes) have developed calculation and cerfacs, a research center performances evaluated by
codes to simulate satellite tracking. “The point is to control specializing in digital modeling, simulation and by tests,” says
the trajectory using equations from celestial mechanics while to continue sAe research nicolas de chanaud. furthermore
taking the constraints arising from low-thrust positioning and highlight it in Avip modeling sAe has assumed the leadership
into account: limiting the amount of time spent in radiations software. designed by safran of the european cheops
belts, remaining visible to certain ground stations, etc.,” adds Aircraft engines, Avip (consortium for Hall effect
Thomas Liénart, head of the Cnes propulsion department. is dedicated to optimizing in orbit propulsion system)
Other simulation projects focus on the effects of particle the efficiency of the electric program. One of the consortium’s
discharge from the engines. “These phenomena have to be thruster and simulating its life objectives is to develop
controlled, particularly to check for potential deterioration of cycle. “We have also developed simulation tools for future
the solar panels caused by particles,” notes Thomas Liénart. models within the framework engines, for example, 20-kW
Optimizing the trajectory is essential for another reason: the of a scientific interest grouping and 500-W pps drives
engine does not follow a linear path into orbit. It moves in (Gis) with our historic partners: (the pps 5000 posts 5 kW).
spirals from its apogee to its perigee; engine thrust is quite the national center of space cheops is also seeking to make
efficient at the apogee and virtually non-existent at the peri- Research (cnes), the national headway in the design of a “dual”
AiRbus defence And spAce ; esA ; d.R.

gee. It is therefore necessary to simulate the thrusts in order center for scientific Research plasma engine that could thrust
to save xenon and determine the best launch strategy for a (cnRs) including the Lpp 10% more than current machines
given architecture. The Cnes is also conducting research in and the national Office during launch into orbit; once
simulating satellite lifespan increases and orbit corrections, of Aerospace studies and in orbit, it would consume
which take longer than with chemical thrusters. Ultimately, Research (Onera). The chair will 10% less energy and require less
manufacturers and laboratories hope to halve the time supplement this work,” drive, thereby reducing xenon
required for positioning. ❚❚ says nicolas de chanaud, deputy consumption. ❚❚

l’uSinE nouvEllE i speciAL feATuRe MAGAZine n° 2 i ApRiL 6 2017 23

Using simulation to make sure its ships are functioning correctly allows DCNS to avoid costly tests in real conditions.

SHIPBUILDING lectricity and ships go back a long way. From the
19th century and throughout the 20th century,

THE QUEST FOR propulsion architecture in all classes of subma-
rine and surface ship has included electricity. The
ocean liner Normandie in the 1930s, the latest

COMPACT SYSTEMS huge cruise ship (Harmony of the Seas) to emerge from STX
France’s shipyard, and DCNS’s submarines and frigates all
feature electric engines. «We’ve been fitting our submarines
and surface ships with electric engines for a long time,» said
Jacques Jourden, director of engineering at DCNS’s Nantes-
Indret site (Loire-Atlantique).
Ships have been fitted with electric Things started, and for good reason, with nuclear-propelled
propulsion systems for many years. submarines. DCNS has been developing hybrid designs used
especially for Fremm frigates since the 2000s. Ships are
R&D is focusing on equipment powered by electric engines when doing less than 15 knots,
dimensions and new energy sources. whereas gas turbines take over once they exceed this speed.
In Mistral-class projection and command ships, pods (electric
By Guillaume lecompte-Boinet
propeller engines housed in nacelles) outside the hull ensure
100% electric propulsion. Nevertheless, a diesel engine and


no archinaute without
The Archinaute, an unusual ship that converts wind
power into electricity, as yet exists only on paper.
But Charles-Henri Viel, its designer, hopes to build
a full-scale prototype this year. Two levels
of modeling have already been completed. Viel
developed algebraic equations to simulate the ship’s
wind resistance, before using Heliciel software
to validate wind turbine and propeller size for a given
power. «The prototype will require more complex
calculations,» said Viel. This involves developing
a simulation tool from scratch, in this case
with the National Institute of Advanced Technology
of Brittany (Ensta) in Brest. ❚❚

alternator are required to power them. This system provides Numerical simulation may make
great maneuverability and is now widely used in commercial, simulation issues shipbuilders’ task easier, especially
exploration, and offshore vessels. ◗ Optimizing dimensions for military ships, where space ma-
of thermal electricity nagement is a central issue. DCNS
Quieter and More Compact uses tools such as Dymola (Dassault
Electric propulsion has many benefits for the shipbuilding ◗ Testing various default Systèmes) and Simulink (in Matlab,
industry. First, this technique makes ships relatively silent, a generic tool) to optimize the size
meaning that cruiseship passengers can sleep soundly and ◗ Testing new energy of propulsion equipment and adjust
the military can avoid detection. Sound waves generated by sources its control and regulation laws. «The
two-stroke diesel engines can be heard miles away whereas idea is to use simulation to check the
electric propulsion, even when coupled with a diesel engine propulsion system’s overall performance,» said Jourden. This
or gas turbine, is much quieter. Vibrations are of smaller research avoids large numbers of expensive sea trials and
magnitude and noise-dampening systems are easier to size. also enables trials in degraded mode, for example, simulating
Another important aspect for the shipbuilding industry is equipment breakdown or a heavy swell. Shipbuilders can thus
that electric propulsion saves on servicing since the engines check that control and regulation laws are adjusted correctly.
require almost no maintenance. Furthermore, back-up heat At the same time, DCNS is conducting research on two
engines, which run smoothly and at a constant speed, wear topics for the future: replacing lead batteries by lithium-ion
out less. «For a similar type of mission, we need less installed batteries and fuel cells. The idea is to improve the autonomy
capacity than ships propelled entirely by heat engines,» said of standard Scorpène-class submarines, increasing how long
Jourden. But coupled thermal-electric systems are by nature they spend under water before resurfacing from four days
very bulky as they require diesel alternators, multiple electric to three weeks. Here too, simulation will help control pro-
cabinets, converters, electric engines, etc. For this reason, pulsion-system performance and electric-equipment sizing.
DCNS has no current plans to fit ships under 5,000 tons
with 100% electric propulsion, including projection and Modeling Cooling Systems
command ships, since there is not enough space. DCNS is also working on superconductivity, which could
theoretically make the mass and volume of standard ma-
chinery (except for cooling systems) 1.5-2 times smaller.
Nevertheless, thermal engineering remains one of the main
“the idea is to use simulation obstacles to overcome before ships can one day be fitted
to check the propulsion system’s with superconductor engines. Very low temperature has to
be maintained via a helium cooling system. For example,
overall performance.” this type of engine could be powered by a fuel cell. «All this
Jacques Jourden, involves extensive design studies and modeling of cooling
director of engineering at DCNS’s Nantes-Indret site system reliability and availability,» said Jourden. ❚❚



Manufacturers can now use big data to
simulate the actual state of their equipment.
A key to optimizing maintenance.

new era for industrial maintenance has arrived.
At Safran, engineers examine their 29 Leap
engines in flight, even thousands of kilometers
away, on their computer screens. Each engine
has a digital twin. The term was introduced by
Nasa to describe a dynamic 3D digital shuttle replica based
on data from equipment sensors and contextual informa-
tion. In the case of an engine, the live simulation is fed by
a stream of data pertaining to temperature, rotation speed Thanks to its virtual twin, the Safran Leap engine is sent to maintenance
and oil consumption, together with real-time information on only when a fault is detected.
weather, atmospheric pollution, flight route, etc. Safran stores
a total of 400 megabytes of data per day for each engine in
its “data lake,” which serves as an information reservoir to Safran. On the other hand, if the engine manufacturer’s teams
update the digital twins of its engines. Big data is the key to detect an anomaly in the digital twin, they can schedule a
improving maintenance management. maintenance operation to avoid a breakdown. More efficient
Gone are the days of preventive maintenance based on maintenance management allows the company to cut costs.
average periods of utilization. Through the digital twin,
which duplicates the actual state of equipment and analyzes a new business model
its huge amount of corresponding data, managers can opt Contrary to other data analysis tools, the digital twin allows
instead for predictive maintenance. This technology has analysts to visualize the machinery and even look inside. It is
become possible through the recent emergence of the indus- possible to identify precisely the component that presents an
trial internet, which has increased the number of sensors and anomaly instead of taking the equipment apart. “When we
data storage platforms. “If an engine has flown under optimal take back engines to make technical improvements, we can
conditions, we check its digital twin to be sure it has not been identify the family of engines we are targeting more quickly,
damaged and we can postpone the planned maintenance which allows us to segment the fleet according to the specific
operation,” notes Céline Briquet, head of Leap Analytics at uses of our engines,” says Céline Briquet.
Digital twins have reconfigured the playing field for simu-
lation. Digital equipment can be subjected to all sorts of
treatment that could be inflicted on its physical counterpart.
“We can replay a breakdown in the digital twin to understand
“Until now, simulation was focused its root cause,” explains Éric Bantegnie, vice president of the
on design. The industrial internet makes embedded systems business unit of the U.S. software company
it possible to use it in operation. Ansys. “And run failure-resolution scenarios before modifying
PAScAl GUittEt

This shift is very recent.” the physical object and explore possible solutions.” Industrial
internet platforms like PTC’s ThingWorx and Siemens’ Mind-
Éric Bantegnie, Vice President of the Embedded Systems Business Unit at Ansys Sphere combine the data produced by the various information


The Bugey
plant (ain)
already has
a reactor

seeing double at French nuclear
By 2020, EDF intends to produce cost of the refitting project,
an initial series of digital twins estimated at 51 billion euros
of the nuclear reactors it operates over the period 2012-2025,
in France. the aim is to facilitate according to Pierre Béroux,
maintenance, notably by carrying director of the group’s industrial
out a major refitting program digital transition. the oldest
to extend the lifespan of nuclear reactors will be the first to be
installations beyond forty years. digitally duplicated using laser
system software applications with data collected in the field, the twins will enable the energy scanners and 3D photographs.
thus enabling simulations while in operation. “Until now, operator to monitor the actual EDF has not yet decided whether
simulation was focused on design. This shift is very recent,” state of the plants and share it will produce a digital twin
says Éric Bantegnie. the information with its for each of its 58 reactors
The Ansys specialist expects digital twins to come into subcontractors. the 1 million or whether a single referent
widespread use within the next three years. “They offer euro price tag for each digital twin per power plant family
advantages to all manufacturers with assets in operation, twin will be included in the overall would suffice. ❚❚
particularly those with a long lifespan that change according
to use: production machines, airplanes, trains and oil rigs.”
Digital twins are particularly relevant for pump manufac-
turers. The pumps may be buried underground in The model has definite advantages, but it also raises the
the desert or under ice, and age at different rates THE CHALLENGE question of who owns the data that feeds the digital twin
depending on the installation. The American com- ◗ To shift from preventive and how can that data be exchanged? “The users of the
pany Flowserve is one of the first manufacturers to maintenance, in which equipment own the data,” declares Hadrien Szigeti, a
have signed a contract in late 2016 with Ansys and interventions are strategic analyst at Dassault Systèmes. “But there is a
determined by typical
General Electric to develop digital twins of its pumps. equipment use, to legal loophole with respect to its sale. There is no prac-
Not only do digital twins optimize maintenance predictive, more targeted tical guide to exchanging it.” For the moment, airline
operations, they also change the company’s business maintenance, adapted to companies contractually agree to communicate data to
model. A manufacturer that can predict equipment each piece of equipment Safran. “They see an advantage in doing so, because it
and its specific use.
failure, find the cause and determine the best possible means optimizing their maintenance operations,” says
solution can offer a new after-sales service. “This is all part Céline Briquet. Hence more flight time. In the long run,
of a broader trend: manufacturers sell hours of service more however, users such as airline companies may come up with
than products,” points out Laurent Germain, an IoT expert a way to commercialize the data. The value of a data twin is
at the U.S. software company PTC. anything but virtual. ❚❚

L’uSine nouveLLe i SPEciAl FEAtURE MAGAZiNE N° 2 i APRil 6 2017 27


siMulATiOn - The
heArT OF irTs
With eight Technological Research Institutes (IRTs),
France finally has the equivalent of Germany’s
Fraunhofer Institutes, only they’re better. IRTs
were set up between 2012 and 2013 under the
“Investment for the Future” (PIA) program and
will receive 940 million euros over ten years. IRTs
organize shared public-private research in eight
areas: digital technology (IRT B<>Com); microbiology
and infectious diseases (IRT Bioaster); factories of
the future (IRT Jules Verne); materials, metallurgy SystemX
and processes (IRT M2P); nanoelectronics (IRT a model for
Nanoelec); railway systems (IRT Railenium); optimizing
aeronautics, space, and embedded systems (IRT routes
Saint-Exupéry); and digital engineering of complex trains and
systems (IRT SystemX). Companies and public buses
for the SNCF.
research laboratories pool human resources and
equipment to carry out collaborative research
projects, sharing the resulting intellectual property
rights. And it’s an approach that works. In four years, RT SySTEmX TRACING OUT mULTImODAL
France’s IRTs – which bring together 444 industrial mOBILITy ROUTES
and 100 academic partners, i.e. almost 1,500 people ◗ Set Up 31 October 2012
– have already achieved 106 technology transfers, ◗ Current Projects 21, including 4 European projects
registered 155 patents, initiated 715 scientific Completed Projects 4
publications, set up 58 technology platforms, ◗ Platforms and Equipment 8
and taken part in 25 European research projects. ◗ Patents 37 Publications 208 Technology Transfers 30
Simulation and computing occupy a major, central ◗ Collaborators 130, including 34 PhD students
place in these projects: modeling new composites, ◗ Industrial Partners 75 Academic Institution Partners 14
material processing, multimodal transport, thermal
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 130 million euros
simulation of electronic components, digital
platforms for validating railway components and IRT SystemX’s MIC (modeling, interoperability, commu-
testing 5G security, methodology for the correct use nication) multimodal research project that ran for five
years ended last December. Based on scenarios submitted
of multiphysics coupling in aeronautical design, and
by Alstom, Renault and SNCF, IRT SystemX developed
pooling high-performance computing resources. numerical-simulation models to optimize train/bus connec-
Discover the central role of numerical simulation tions, passenger information in the event of incidents, and
at IRTs. set up a carsharing system. These models will be used for
By Aurélie BArBAux And Thierry lucAs
other optimization projects, especially for stations in the
Greater Paris region and cities of the future, which are quite
hard to create because initial models are rare. “Industrialists


The IRT Jules Verne
models the
resistance of turbine
blades and how
the composites age
in seawater.

◗ Set Up 5 March 2012
◗ Current Projects 53 Completed Projects 16
(including 3 European projects)
◗ Platforms and Equipment 8
◗ Patents 28 Publications 120 Technology Transfers 15
◗ Collaborators 104 (including 20 PhD students)
◗ Industrial Partners 51 Academic Institution Partners 14
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 115 million euros

Composite materials have complex behavior, especially when
in contact with seawater. To address this problem affecting
offshore wind turbines and marine turbines, IRT Jules
Verne, which focuses on manufacturing structures for the
aeronautics, automobile, shipbuilding, and renewable marine
energy industries, is developing specific simulation models.
have mostly simulated infrastructures and vehicles. But How can we ensure the mechanical strength of blades that
these systems change according to the passengers,” said are exposed to the marine environment (wind turbines) or
Lionel Scrémin, the multimodal transport project manager underwater (marine turbines)? How much seawater will
seconded to IRT SystemX by Alstom. Another challenge for a composite absorb and with what consequences? The
researchers is upscaling models and obtaining data. SNCF material swells and increases in mass, which will impact
had to carry out two survey phases during the planning and on wind turbines of 160 meters in diameter. Mechanical
user-communication scenarios. These surveys enabled SNCF properties are affected and local swelling may even damage
to add passenger behavior to its train travel models and create blades. “We’re developing or adapting models to simulate
a visualization tool for decision-makers. how composites age in the presence of sea water. This will
In their search for models to optimize train/bus connections, enable us to predict fatigue damage and the risk of blades
researchers turned to fluid mechanics. The researchers then suddenly breaking,” said Tanguy Moro, head of IRT Jules
drew up principles for multimodal supervision and created a Verne’s simulation team.
planning tutorial. Finally, to design a carsharing service on An initial project with Centrale Nantes’s civil and mecha-
the Paris-Saclay technology campus, they “retrieved data from nical engineering laboratory (Loire-Atlantique), the French
Nissan, which set up a Twizy carsharing system in Yokohama Technical Center for Mechanical Industries (Cetim), and
(Japan) between 2013 and 2015. Using real data, we have industrial partners (DCNS, General Electric, STX), has vali-
subsequently proved that optimization processes can result in dated, in correlation with tests, a model that simulates water
gains,” explained Scrémin. The MIC project involved around spreading through materials at microstructure level. A project
forty people and led to 26 publications by researchers from with GE, the SC Méca design office and Bureau Veritas aims
the other participating laboratories and public institutions to extend modeling to entire structures and integrate new
(Ifsttar, Inria, ENS Paris-Saclay, UTBM, Télécom SudParis, models into Abaqus, a commercial computing code used by
CEA, etc.). The Most (modeling and optimization of smart industrialists. Thus enabling them to better predict the life-
territories) platform has capitalized on these results. span of sea-based structures, anticipate maintenance work,


and enhance blade design. IRT Jules Verne plans to set up
a collaborative project with software vendors to transform
the codes developed into marketable products. This process
has already started for automobile simulation models. Still
in the field of marine energy, the simulation team has also
simulated a process for manufacturing marine-turbine blades
in a single stage. This process consists of injecting resin
into preforms containing a complex structure of fibers and
reinforcements. “The aim is to use Moldex3D simulation
software to work out the best injection strategy (injection
points, pressure, resin temperature, etc.),” said Moro. The
issue here is to reduce manufacturing tests to a minimum
since each structure costs 15,000-50,000 euros.

◗ Set Up 11 April 2012
◗ Current Projects 29 (including 10 European projects)
◗ Platforms and Equipment 5
◗ Patents 98 Software Programs 8 Publications 171
Technology Transfers 18 Start-up 2
Nanoelec develops tools to visualize the heat dissipation of a stack
◗ Collaborators 185 full-time equivalent, including 16 PhD students of electronic components.
◗ Industrial Partners 122 Academic Institution Partners 6
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 160 million euros

3D integration of electronic components provides many program. A new simulation toolbox has been developed with
benefits. For example, it saves space, energy, and improves Mentor Graphics and is being used to explore this technology:
performance. But there is at least one disadvantage: these adding TSVs, changing fill material, modifying the location
components heat up. When electronic chips are stacked of processor cores, which are hot points, etc. Correlated with
on top of one another, thermal dissipation may become measurements on completed systems, simulation is enabling
blocked. Although thermal simulation software for electro- researchers to make choices and qualify their chosen design.
nic components exists on the market, new problems have The ultimate aim is to provide conditions for the system to
arisen from 3D integration. For this reason, IRT Nanoelec’s work, with suitable cooling.
3D Integration program is developing simulation tools with
Mentor Graphics, a software vendor for electronic component IRT RAILENIUm TOWARDS VIRTUAL RAILWAy
design. “We’re working in parallel on technology for 3D PROTOTyPING
integration, circuit blocks, and design tools. We’re aiming
to a have a solution ready for when an industrialist decides ◗ Set Up 26 October 2012
to take the plunge,” said Pascal Vivet, a circuit design expert ◗ Current Projects 34, including 6 European projects Completed
at the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Project 1
Commission (CEA) Leti. This research institute is one of ◗ Platforms and Equipment 3
the program’s partners, together with the semiconductor
◗ Patents 5 Publications 107 Technology Transfers 7
manufacturer STMicroelectronics, and two component
manufacturers: SET and EVG. ◗ Collaborators 40, including 8 PhD students
Chips for some memory components are already being ◗ Industrial Partners 20 Academic Institution Partners 9
stacked and vertically interconnected. But 3D integration has ◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 80 million euros
wider ambitions since it involves stacking processors, memo-
ries, sensors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMs), etc, Trains want to catch up with planes and cars. When it comes
to reduce energy consumption and improve performance. to digital validation of designs, the rail industry is not on a
Simulating the thermal dispersion of stacks must take into par with other means of transport. To make up for lost time,
account what is happening within circuits, as well as of France has launched the Cervifer (virtual certification for
effects created by vertical interconnections, through-silicon railway vehicles and infrastructure) project. The project, run
vias (TSVs), and inter-chip fill polymers. “3D integration by the Agency for the Environment and Energy Management

requires multiscale simulation, from nanometer to centimeter (Aeme), aims to create a simulation platform to reduce the
level, which is the scale of boards onto which components number of physical tests and half the time taken to certify
are placed,” said Séverine Chéramy, director of the CEA Leti’s railway components. The Cervifer project has 14 partners,


of canvas covers blowing off multimodal goods wagons. In
particular, a deflector system is being developed to control
pressure exerted on canvas covers and reduce the amount of
energy used to pull convoys. This project correlates nume-
rical simulation, wind-tunnel tests, and full-scale tests on
commercial trains.

◗ Set Up 21 March 2013
◗ Current Projects 24
◗ Plates-formes 11 Equipment 40 (including 15 test facilities)
◗ Patents 6 Publications 63 Technology Transfers 4
◗ Collaborators 110, including 39 PhD students
◗ Industrial Partners 81, including 43 SMEs Academic Institution
Partners 38
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 145 million euros

How can planes be designed faster? The MDA-MDO (multi-
disciplinary analysis-multidisciplinary design optimization)
The IRT Railenium simulation platform project aims to reduce project at IRT Saint-Exupéry, dedicated to aeronautics, space,
the number of tests and the time it takes to certify railway components. and embedded systems, is trying to answer this question.
For once, the answer is being sought in methodology rather
than in technology. “The purpose of this project is to deve-
lop a collaborative approach among the project partners
including from industry (SNCF, RATP, Vossloh, Alstom, for optimizing the methodology and human interactions of
ESI, Hutchinson, Vibratec) and several research institutes plane-design processes. We want to develop capacity for
(Technology University of Compiègne, etc.). IRT Railenium, multidisciplinary optimization,” said Anne Gazaix, the project
one of the project partners, is interested in the rail infras- manager seconded from Airbus. As she explains: “This pro-
tructure and rolling stock interface. “Simulation blocks exist ject involves moving from traditional processes, constructed
for designing track and equipment, but a system vision was as a linked sequence of monodisciplinary steps, towards inte-
lacking,” explained Adnane Boukamel, Railenium’s scientific grated processes that can simultaneously manage different
and training program director. disciplines such as aerodynamics, load calculation, structural
Three PhD theses at IRT Railenium have focused on design, and take account of interactions between them, even
modeling bogie/track interface phenomena. Together within optimization loops. This is to improve anticipation of
with the French Institute of Science and Technology for compromises between different disciplines. We need innova-
Transport, Development and Networks (Ifsttar), researchers tive methodology to take account of these interactions.” Such
have modeled stresses at the train/track contact point to is the objective of this project, which began in January 2015
determine critical train speed (when the train’s oscillations and will end in November 2018. The project brings together
create a derailment risk). As a safety precaution, designers Airbus, Cerfacs, Sogeti High Tech, Altran, Onera and Isae,
currently have to overestimate this risk. Another PhD thesis with a twenty-strong team representing a dozen full-time
is studying wear and fatigue of materials at the wheel/track equivalent researchers.
contact point. This research uses a numerical-simulation The chosen scenario involves installing future high-bypass
model that can make connections between microstructural ratio engines under airfoils. To design this innovative metho-
changes in the material and its macroscopic behavior. A dology, the project uses Scrum agile methods, high-fidelity
third PhD is modeling noise and vibrations to reduce noise simulation of multiphysics coupling, and high-performance
pollution from train rumbling. computing. “We make the most expensive models using
These tools, along with others developed in the Cervifer Cerfacs’s high-performance computer,” explained Gazaix.
project, will be integrated into a simulation and certification The main hurdle to overcome is upscaling. “Multidiscipli-
platform for use by industrialists in this consortium. IRT nary methodologies already exist, but they’re only applied
Railenium is working on other projects, such as optimizing to academic cases or to problems with limited variables
the forging process for manufacturing overhead line clamps and constraints. In our case, the issues to resolve are large-
(components linking two cables) and reducing maintenance scale and must integrate industrial constraints.” The project
costs by simulating damage to suspension components in aims to establish guiding principles for creating large-scale,
bogies. IRT Railenium is also studying goods-train aero- multidisciplinary design processes and integrate them into
dynamics to remedy a specific freight-train problem: the risk an associated software platform.


IRT BIOASTER COmPUTING AND SImULATION would be hard to successfully complete flagship projects such
FOR ALL PROJECTS as Realism (reanimation low immune status markers). This
8 million-euro project has brought together 50 researchers
◗ Set Up 2012 from IRT Bioaster, BioMérieux, ESPCI, Hospices Civils de
◗ Current Projects 29 (including 1 European project) Completed Lyon (Lyon University Hospital), GSK, and Sanofi laborato-
Projects 11 ries. The purpose of the Realism project, which runs until
◗ Platforms and Equipment 7 the end of 2018, is to combat sepsis, a serious infection
during which the body’s inflammatory response leads to life
◗ Patents 4 Publications 38
threatening organ failure, an infection that affects almost
◗ Collaborators 117, including 2 PhD students 27 million people a year throughout the world.
◗ Industrial Partners 20 Academic Institution Partners 10
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 180 million euros IRT m2P mODELING mETAL PROCESSING
It is an understatement to say that healthcare research gene-
rates an abundance of digital data that must be modeled and ◗ Set Up 16 June 2013
analyzed to build models and find correlations. Such analysis ◗ Current Projects 15, including 1 European project
and modeling enables researchers to discover new biomarkers, ◗ Platforms and Equipment 11
predict the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and identify action
mechanisms for new antimicrobial compounds. To process ◗ Patents 2 Publications 46 Technology Transfers 8
data generated by its seven technology platforms, IRT Bioaster ◗ Collaborators 54, including 17 PhD students
has implemented strategies combining intensive computing ◗ Industrial Partners 65 Academic Institution Partners 12
and numerical simulation, taking into account the severe
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 50 million euros
confidentiality constraints. Strict confidentiality is a require-
ment for all IRT Bioaster’s members, particularly as it relates In an ideal world for metallurgy, engineers would simply key
to the privacy and anonymity regarding personal health data into a computer the physical properties of the part they want
used in many projects. to make. This would tell them the sequence of processing
Rather than equip itself with its own computing facilities, their chosen alloy must undergo. Although this is not yet a
“we decided to go into partnership with the CNRS compu- reality, IRT M2P’s (materials, metallurgy, processes) advanced
ting center in Lyon-Villeurbanne, which provides scalable, thermochemical processing project is working towards it. A
flexible architecture with unique computing power, mass suite of simulation models has been developed. Modeling
storage capacity and high-speed networks for our research carbon or nitrogen enrichment by gas decomposition in a fur-
projects,” said Alain Troesch, IRT Bioaster’s technology nace to improve mechanical resistance is the first step in this
director. To fine-tune its data storage and analysis, IRT direction. Other simulation models are enabling researchers
Bioaster relies on the French National Institute of Nuclear to deduce new metallurgical phases resulting from processing,
and Particle Physics’ computing center (CC-IN2P3, CNRS, as well as calculate residual stress in materials and the fatigue
La Doua campus). This center has access to an Openstack life of components. “We know how to do the opposite, i.e.
cloud for computing and application hosting, as well as to work back from target properties to the required processing,
a Univa computing farm for intensive computing. It also but only in laboratory test tubes,” said Pascal Lamesle, head
provides mass storage, an Oracle and PostgreSQL database of science and technology at IRT M2P. Nevertheless, indus-
management system, and data transfer via a high-speed trialists involved in the TTA project, from the automobile
inter-institution network. Without this computing center, it (PSA), aeronautics (Safran, Ratier-Figeac, Airbus Helicopters),
and metallurgy (Ascometal, ArcelorMittal) sectors, together
with furnace manufacturers and industrial gas suppliers, can
To treat the
profusion of
already take advantage of simulation.
health data, The main objective is to reduce tests on manufactured parts.
Bioaster relies Simulation is also improving our understanding of problems
on the IN2P3 encountered with some types of steel and helping work out
calculation new processing methods. Before software developed at M2P
is widely used by industrialists, researchers will have to
ensure the various models can communicate with one ano-
ther. And all this will have to be integrated into commercial
computing software in collaboration with software vendors.

But this is not the only hurdle to be overcome. “The main
challenge for making the transition from a laboratory setting
to industrial components lies in collecting data to feed into
simulation models. This will require tests and measure-
ments,” said Lamesle. For large, complex parts, computing
optimization time must also be taken into account.


IRT B<>COm SECURING 5G NETWORKS 4G, can’t be done using SIM cards. To find solutions, Europe is
OF THE FUTURE funding a two-year collaborative research project (5G Ensure)
run by the Finnish technical research center VTT. B<>Com is
◗ Set Up November 2012 one of the main project partners, together with Nokia, Thales,
◗ Current Projects 15, including 4 European projects and Orange. “5G Ensure is aiming to identify and above all test
Completed Projects 6 security issues, potential architecture, and security solutions
◗ Platforms and Equipment 8 (enablers),” said Corriou. IRT B<>Com has installed a test
bed to carry out the work, which simulates a standard cloud
◗ Patents 26 Publications 118 Technology Transfers 40
infrastructure, with all its virtualized storage and computing
◗ Collaborators 95, including 27 PhD students equipment (Openstack). It also simulates network intercon-
◗ Industrial Partners 25 Academic Institution Partners 13 nection (Wi-Fi, LTE, Sigfox, LoRa, NB IoT, etc.), with virtual
◗ “Investment for the Future” Funding 80 million euros network functions reproducing 5G’s specific physical features
(especially low latency). This enables end-to-end integration
5G is telecommunications’ new frontier, keeping specialized tests to be carried out, including with new NSA-NR (non-
research laboratories such as IRT B<>Com fully occupied. standalone new radio) formats for 5G. The core platform
The challenge is to standardize both 5G infrastructures from opened last August and a dozen project partners are testing
2018 onwards, and from 2020, the services and functions it their security enablers on the network there. “We’re also using
will make possible. Not easy, as in addition to its promise to it to test new continuous development methods from IT, such
operate 1,000 times faster, “5G must support critical systems, as DevOps. Because one of the challenges for 5G is to create
which are very secure, as well as the internet of big things on new services faster, within a few days or even hours, instead of
a shared infrastructure,” explained Michel Corriou, B<>Com’s weeks or months,” said Corriou. Component manufacturers are
director of networks and security. Contradictory challenges, interested in this capacity. Costing a total of 7.5 million euros,
especially in terms of security, creating new problems: e.g. 5G Ensure will close at the end of 2017. B<>Com is already
authenticating billions of connected objects, which, unlike with involved in two other European 5G programs. ❚❚

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EFFiCiEnt suPERComPutERs
To achieve exascale performance, supercomputers will have to become much more
energy efficient by 2022. None of their components will be spared.
BY HuGo lERoux

lthough it seems unthinkable, perhaps we (MW), racking up an energy bill of around 22 million euros
ought to build a nuclear power plant behind a year! “To be realistic, the energy consumption of exascale
every supercomputer. Based on current energy supercomputers should not exceed 20 MW. Compared to the
performance, nothing less than a nuclear power average performance of current supercomputers, they’ll have
plant would be needed to power a supercom- to become at least 25 times more energy efficient by 2022,”
puter with staggering exascale computing speed. Exaflop said Michel Daydé, scientific delegate for supercomputers at
capacity, a billion billion operations per second, is the Holy the French National Center for Scientific Research.
Grail of intensive computing. Such power would open up new
horizons for ultra-complex simulation. For example, simu- Better Component integration
lating communication between brain neurons, simulating To meet this challenge, manufacturers can no longer settle
combustion, and simulation to search for new pharmaceu- for piling up processors, which represent 70% of supercom-
tical molecules. By way of comparison, the most powerful puters’ energy consumption. “Neither can they base their
computer currently in existence is the Chinese Sunway approach on Moore’s Law any more, which has increased
Taihulight supercomputer, which operates at 93 petaflops per processor frequency regularly and quickly. This is because
second. This supercomputer consumes a mere 15 megawatts energy consumption increases in proportion to the square of

a Data Center With ideal Energy Efficiency
Intel’s headquarters in Santa an energy bill twice as big as than simply being extracted, hot
Clara (USA) include a rather the ideal PUE of 1. It is therefore air is mixed with cold air and then
unusual data center containing essential for large data centers to reused. Other savings are made
a supercomputer ranked 95 keep cooling costs to a minimum. by cooling the air with waste
in the world in 2015, which Intel And this starts with how they are water discharged from nearby
uses to design its processors. designed. Intel has opted to use offices. As a result of these
But this data center really stands only commercial products measures, the cooling tower
out for its energy efficiency. whether for racks, servers, is hardly used and it operated
As Shesha Krishnapura Intel IT or components, in its data for just 39 hours during
chief technology officer proudly centers. Narrow racks (less than the whole of 2014. How far can
states, its power usage 22 inches) are favored, to pack energy efficiency be taken?
effectiveness (PUE) is 1.06. in as much hardware as possible. “We’ll reach a PUE of 1 within
This indicator is the ratio between The data center is divided into ten years,” confirmed
the data center’s total power cold aisles (through which cold air Krishnapura. “We’re carrying out
consumption (including air arrives) and hot aisles (in which experiments to achieve this,”
conditioning) and the energy hot air is expelled from servers), he said, adding that the ratio
absorbed by its IT systems. PUE with temperatures varying could even drop below 1. How?
intel’s data center, managed by Shesha Krishnapura ratio is the cornerstone of green between 15°C and 32°C. Air is “By using heat generated
(photo) is cooled by hot air from the servers mixed IT and is above all an economic expelled outside by huge fans by the servers to keep the offices
with cold air and then reused. indicator. A PUE of 2 indicates with 2-meter-long blades. Rather warm”. ❚❚ Julien Bergounhoux


the frequency,” explained Daydé. For
a BottomlEss the past ten years or so, manufactu-
rers have therefore limited processor
◗ 2% of the electricity frequency to 2-3 gigahertz, opting
consumed by
a supercomputer is all instead for multiple ‘cores’ in each
that is used to carry out chip. This enables more tasks to be
calculations. carried out in parallel, without sending
◗ 3 gflop/W is the energy consumption sky high.
average energy efficiency Multicore processors, whose market
(computing power
compared to energy is cornered by Intel, are currently
consumed) of current facing competition from Nvidia gra-
supercomputers. phics processing units (GPUs). GPUs
◗ 30% of a hail directly from PCs and carry out
supercomputer’s overall some operations, e.g. vector calcu-
cost (purchase and use) lus, ten times more efficiently than
goes on energy.
central processing units (CPUs). “It
◗ 22 million euros a year was even fashionable to say we were
- the energy bill for the
Chinese Sunway Taihulight heading towards supercomputers
supercomputer. fitted entirely with GPUs. But the
frequency size of GPUs is 3-4 times
smaller, which raises latency problems for accessing memory
data. The most likely scenario is to retain hybrid architecture,
in which CPUs manage communication with the system
and GPUs serve as accelerators, with their level of action
depending on whether or not the application lends itself to
acceleration,” said Jean-Pierre Panziera, chief technology
director at Atos.
Another challenge for manufacturers is to more skilfully The Bull Sequana supercomputer free by large outside exchangers
integrate components to reduce dead time in data exchange. unveiled by Atos intends in contact with the ambient air.
Since 2013, IBM has opened up the intellectual property of its to achieve exascale capacity via This type of cooling
its energy efficient architecture. is 30% more efficient than
Power servers via the OpenPower consortium so that various This supercomputer’s ‘hot’ air-cooling. The Sequana’s energy
manufacturers, including Nvidia, and users can collaborate water-cooling system is based efficiency is also characterized by
on its technology. Transfer time between CPUs and GPUs on ultra-thin heat exchangers multicore processors, graphics
is expected to be three times faster in the new generation of in each server, which remove heat accelerators (nvidia or intel xeon
directly from the processor, Phi), memory cards, and
Power 9 servers, which the ‘pre-exascale’ (200 petaflops per
memory, etc. Water circulating optimized interconnections.
second) supercomputer delivered to the US Department of in a closed loop is then cooled for
Energy (DOE) this year will have. The amazing energy fruga-
lity of ARM technology could also change everything. ARM
technology is predominant in our smart phones, where auto-
nomy is essential. This type of architecture closely integrates mance ‘hot’ water-cooling system [see box]. “1.03 watts
CPUs with vector units. As part of the European Mont-Blanc of electricity is consumed per 1 watt of computing power,”
project, Atos has to present an industrial demonstrator of said Panziera.“This is much more efficient than air-condi-
its Sequana supercomputer, fitted with ThunderX2 ARM tioning cooling, which can consume up to 1.5 watts!” Addi-
processors manufactured by Cavium, this year. Another huge tional strategies, such as locating equipment in northern
company, Fujitsu, has also turned to ARM technology for its environments (Far North) to take advantage of free cold air,
Post-K exascale supercomputer, which will be delivered to or reusing heat to keep adjacent buildings warm, can also
Japan’s Riken research institute in 2020. reduce the energy balance.
In a sign of shifting technology, for the first time in Novem-
Cooling uses More energy than Computing ber 2016 the Green 500 ranking, which lists the 500 most
Beyond components, software will also have an impor- energy efficient supercomputers, recorded that while super-
tant role. “We can save a lot of energy by smart design. computers’ average energy consumption is stagnating, their
For example, better orchestrated computing, stopping performance continues to improve. The Chinese Sunway
components from running pointlessly while waiting for Taihulight supercomputer, top of the list, consumes less
data, and optimizing hardware use according to application energy than its Tianhe-2 predecessor (18 MW), as well as
type,” said Laurent Vanel, an expert in intensive computing being three times more powerful! Atos’s Sequana supercom-
infrastructures at IBM. A final challenge is efficient cooling puter is ten times more energy frugal than its predecessors.

of supercomputers. Atos’s Sequana system, unveiled in We’ll have to wait until 2022 to see if industrial roadmaps
2016 by its Bull technology brand, relies on a high-perfor- really have taken over from Moore’s Law. ❚❚

l’uSine nouvelle I SPECIAL FEATURE MAGAZINE N° 2 I APRIL 6 2017 35

SucceSS Story


The start-up has developed a language to
treat complex systems like railway networks
and electric power grids.
By Juliette Raynal AIo (Asset Investment optimization) this comprehensive approach optimizes
software is dedicated to developing models maintenance intervention by breaking
of the various assets managed by rte, down technological silos. It could generate
France’s Network of transmission System substantial gains for the many industrial

operators including pylons, high-tension managers when numerous infrastructure
he Cosmo Company has only a dozen or so power lines and transformers components need to be changed and
clients, but they are not just any customers! as well as human resources policy. decision-making becomes indispensable.
The list already includes Veolia, SNCF, EDF,
Total, Alstom, RTE and ERDF. Set up in Lyon in
2010 by Michel Morvan, Éric Boix and Hugues
de Bantel, this tech gem has thrived thanks to its ability to and breaks down silos within a group to enable optimal
create computer models to simulate complex systems. The decision-making,” says Hugues de Bantel. The company’s
start-up grew out of research carried out by Michel Morvan, strength lies in its ability to adapt its software to the needs of
a former professor at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon any operator managing a complex system (railway network,
and founder of the Rhône-Alpes Complex Systems Institute. water or natural gas management, etc.).
“At the Institute, Michel Morvan developed a specific lan-
guage to comprehend how pandemics spread. He observed Global ambitions
that this data representation language could be applied to In 2017, the start-up hopes to double its sales and achieve
many other subjects, because complexity is everywhere, revenues in the vicinity of 7 million euros, notably by expan-
particularly in urban development and major networks,” ding its international reach. It has entered into discussions
Hugues de Bantel explains. with players such as National Grid in the United Kingdom,
and Exelon and American Pacific in the United States. To
A decision-making support tool step up its international rollout, the tech gem is betting on
Through its scientific expertise, The Cosmo Company is a network of integrators, among them IBM, EY and CGI
capable of describing mathematically the dynamic linkages Consulting. Its second growth priority involves selling other
between the various subcomponents of a system and simu- licensed software such as Fluid, designed to make water
late them over time, up to twenty-five or thirty years. “Our production and distribution networks resilient and help water
software programs aim to bring clarity to the most complex companies to be more responsive in the event of a crisis.
problems affecting industry,” declares Hugues de Bantel. The For Alstom, the start-up has also developed a solution to
start-up promises to help business leaders make the right optimize the energy efficiency of urban train systems. “This
decisions by relying on simulation. solution could interest nearly 250 actors across the world,”
For example, the company has developed a software pro- asserts Hugues de Bantel.
gram called AIO (Asset Investment Optimization) for RTE, the Over the longer term, the start-up intends to meet the
subsidiary of Electricité de France that oversees the nation’s needs of the financial world. “The idea would be to have a
transmission system operators. The purpose of the software sort of index of risk on a certain number of existing finan-
is to optimize investments and also infrastructure mainte- cial models,” the specialist adds. Meanwhile, The Cosmo
nance, which represents an annual budget of 850 million Company is nurturing its aim of becoming the world leader
euros at RTE. Using AIO, the operator can take various assets in decision-making management for complex systems. To
into account and simulate them to detect possible domino reach this goal, it may finalize a second round of funding in
effects. “Our systemic approach bolsters expert intuition the coming months. ❚❚


The Teratec Campus The CEA Very Large
Computing Centre
This infrastructure for very high-performance computing is
open to industrial users, together with the CCRT research
and technology computing centre.
Major companies have access to 1.4 PFLOPS of highly secure
computing power by pooling costs, skills and foresight
capabilities in the HPC field with CEA.

Industry. Leading industrial groups, SMEs and start-ups
develop business activities here, covering the entire value
chain of high-performance computing, from components and
systems to software and applications.

Research. Industrial research laboratories work on
developing, mastering and deploying new technologies in the
HPC and big data fields.

www.teratec.eu www-hpc.cea.fr

The European Pole

Contacts & Information
TERATEC • jean-pascal.jegu@teratec.fr • Tel. +33 (0)9 70 65 02 10 CEA - TGCC - CCRT • christine.menache@cea.fr • Tel. +33 (0)1 69 26 62 56
Campus Teratec • 2 rue de la Piquetterie - 91680 Bruyères-le-Châtel - France TGCC • 2 rue de la Piquetterie - 91680 Bruyères-le-Châtel - France
Idaho natIonal laboratory ; ESa ; InStItut fraunhofEr ; Phay ho, ChrIS KnIght Et lInda young / argonnE natIonal laboratory ; gErman aEroSPaCE CEntEr simulAtion


Simulations that show the infinitely small, the
inaccessible and the invisible are sometimes
deceptive, but always astonishing.
By Aurélie BArBAux And BernArd VidAl

topography of the Ares Vallis valley on Mars.


Atomic scale
of a nuclear

fuel filter of a car.

Effect of an X-ray
on a cluster
of argon atoms.

Airflow around
the wings
of very large

l’usinE nouVEllE I SPECIal fEaturE magaZInE n° 2 I aPrIl 6 2017 39
Virtual visit
inside a nuclear

of a tornado.

of a drone.

naSa ; Idaho natIonal laboratory ; XSEdE ; InrIa / hIEPaCS ; Paul lEESon taylor / loughborough unIvErSIty ; JamStEC

of seismic
waves across
the Earth.
simulator for
the chemical

of intensive

l’usinE nouVEllE I SPECIal fEaturE magaZInE n° 2 I aPrIl 6 2017 41

3D PrintinG
Software compensates for additive
manufacturing’s unpredictability by predicting
possible deformations in parts.
by Marine Protais

D printing is no longer limited to prototyping and
is now used for production. Nevertheless, there
are obstacles slowing down its industrialization:
cost, manufacturing speed, and discrepancies
between parts’ intended geometry and printed
shape. Since numerical simulation helps overcome these
hurdles, 3D printing should seize hold of this technology.
Above all, numerical simulation makes 3D printing cheaper software
and quicker since it eliminates “dozens of iterations,” said includes
Sylvain Legrand, “manufacturing evangelist” at Autodesk, an algorithm
the US vendor of Netfabb 3D-printing software. Using for simulating
the physical
numerical simulation is a no-brainer since printing takes properties
several hours whereas simulation needs just a few minutes. of parts
“Simulation is invaluable for mass printing of parts, enabling to be printed.
manufacturers to optimize and test mechanical resistance
before printing,” explained Quentin Kiener, CEO of 3D Prod,
a company specializing in 3D printing of parts.
The advantage of Netfabb is that, as well as simulation,
Netfabb predicts support-structure failure it includes two other features needed for additive manu-
Faced with the growing use of 3D printing in factories, facturing: correction of computer-aided design files before
Autodesk integrated a simulation feature into Netfabb in printing, and topology optimization. “This means there is no
2016. An algorithm simulates physical manufacturing phe- break in the digital technology,” said Legrand. Nevertheless,
nomena and shows their repercussions on parts’ material the simulation feature is only accessible in the premium ver-
properties and shape. The software predicts deformations sion of this software, which comes with a 5,000 euro annual
and surface irregularities that may occur in parts by taking subscription fee. Furthermore, it is not very sophisticated.
account of the machinery and material used. Users can then “This simulation feature is perhaps not as advanced as that
modify their part’s design. Netfabb can also predict failure of dedicated tools already on the market,” said Kiener.
in the support structures that parts are placed on during One such tool is Comsol Multiphysics, which could be an
3D printing. alternative to Netfabb for expert users of simulation tools.
Although not specifically designed for 3D printing, Comsol
Multiphysics can be configured for this task. In particular,
it takes account of heat transfer during manufacturing.
“simulation makes “Heat transfer can cause residual stress, which may weaken
3D printing cheaper parts,” explained Jean-Marc Petit, Comsol’s vice-president of
by eliminating dozens business development. There is still room to improve these
of iterations.” software programs to make them precise and easy to use.
They also need to adapt to additive manufacturing’s various
processes, which are still changing. ❚❚

sylvain Legrand, “manufacturing evangelist” at Autodesk France

June, 27th 2017
Submit your a Ecole Polytechnique
1 2017 !
before April, 2 3rd edition


You have a project or an innovative approach ? Send us your application file
and confront yourself with the best people in the digital simulation field !
The prize list will be unveiled by the Usine Digitale team and its sponsors during a night
at the heart of Teratec Forum on June, 27 2017 at Ecole Polytechnique

Discover our Award categories :
J Start-up Award J Grand prix of simulation
J Collaboration Award J Innovation Award
J SMB Award J Simulation personality Award

Become a sponsor of the Awards, contact Béatrice Allègre :
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Ask for your application file to : trophee_simulation@infopro-digital.com
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