Innovating advanced astrophysical research systems

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
The Challenge

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA) combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a single director to pursue studies of the physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. Their goal was to accelerate scientific research system development and enhance design visualization to improve collaboration with astrophysical scientists and researchers.

The Solution

SAO engineers began the transition to standardize on SolidWorks® solutions, implementing SolidWorks and SolidWorks Premium design software, SolidWorks Simulation Premium analysis software, and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM product data management software. SAO chose SolidWorks because it’s easy to use, provides access to integrated analysis tools, is better for creating visual representations for technical papers, integrates directly with MasterCAM® machining software, and handles diverse types of CAD data. By selecting SolidWorks solutions, SAO reduced development and machining time and costs, shortened nonlinear analysis time from a week to a half hour, cut system weight while ensuring performance, and improved design visualization.

The Results
  • Reduced development and machining time and costs
  • Shortened nonlinear analysis time from one week to half-hour
  • Cut system weight while ensuring performance
  • Improved design visualization

"Whether we are developing systems that seek answers about the origins of the universe or those that provide insights into the health of our environment, we use SOLIDWORKS tools to efficiently and cost-effectively create designs that perform at a high level and help quench mankind's thirt for knowledge."
- David R. Caldwell, Project Engineer

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