The Versatile Aeromechanic Simulation Tool (VAST) is a multi-physics multi-model simulation tool for helicopter aeromechanics. VAST is developed by the helicopter department of the Institute for Flight Systems in Brunswick and by the HPC department of Simulation and Software Technology in Cologne. Its development started in June 2016 within the framework of the DLR Project VicToria.
VAST’s goal is to simulate and analyse the behaviour of helicopters and wind turbines with a focus on the dynamic behaviour for instance of the free-flying helicopter. However, the simulation framework, such as the simulation core, the employed numerical methods or the user interface, is developed to be suitable for general multi-model simulations. The very general applicability of VAST is supported by a software architecture that strictly distinguishes between the simulation framework and the actual implementation of physics.
The physical model is treated by a modular approach that also allows for great flexibility: We divide the simulation problem into different disciplines and further into separate models which are then connected and simulated in a coupled fashion with each other. All models are formulated in a generic state-space-form with input, output and state variables.
The department for High-Perfomance Computing supports the professional software development of VAST and ensures the software’s parallel performance. In particular, we are dedicated to the co-design of numerical algorithms and software to enable simulations that are stable, efficient and reliable.