PRODAF is a software package designed to aid analysts and designers in conducting probabilistic analysis of components and systems. PRODAF can integrate multiple analysis programs to ease the tedious process of conducting a complex analysis process that requires the use of multiple software packages. The work uses a commercial finite element analysis (FEA) program with modules from NESSUS to conduct a probabilistic analysis of a hypothetical turbine blade, disk, and shaft model. PRODAF applies the response surface method, at the component level, and extrapolates the component-level responses to the system level. Hypothetical components of a gas turbine engine are first deterministically modeled using FEA. Variations in selected geometrical dimensions and loading conditions are analyzed to determine the effects of the stress state within each component.

Geometric variations include the cord length and height for the blade, inner radius, outer radius, and thickness, which are varied for the disk. Probabilistic analysis is carried out using developing software packages like System Uncertainty Analysis (SUA) and PRODAF. PRODAF was used with a commercial deterministic FEA program in conjunction with modules from the probabilistic analysis program, NESTEM, to perturb loads and geometries to provide a reliability and sensitivity analysis. PRODAF simplified the handling of data among the various programs involved, and will work with many commercial and open-source deterministic programs, probabilistic programs, or modules.

This work was done by William C. Strack and Vinod K. Nagpal of N&R Engineering for Glenn Research Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at  under the Software category.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steve Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-18372-1

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This article first appeared in the September, 2010 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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