Modeling & Simulation, Testing & Validation (MSTV)

Multi-physics Approach in Sub-System Modeling & Simulation (M&S) For a Gun Turret Drive Weapon System

by David D’Onofrio; Zhian Kuang


For GDLS as an OEM in the defense industry working primarily as a system integrator, it is mission critical to develop a platform to weight/gauge/tradeoff requirements of various sub-systems in the final system product. Knowing sub-system performances in the final system on a physics bases, enables the system integrator more active roles in product R&D for requirement tradeoffs and price tag controls, instead of being passively driven solely by suppliers’ perspectives. Designing a light weight system while maintaining their mission profile, can lead to the use of more flexible structures thereby imposing additional dynamics affecting the integration of weapon systems into the vehicle structure. Added to this, the dynamics of electromechanical actuators, mechanical tolerances and discrete controllers, creates an environment, each of which is defined by its characteristic physics. This paper discusses a multi-physics approach used different brand named solvers best for different physics to model and simulate a generic gun system mounted in a turret. The gun platform consists of the gun installed in a cradle, electro-mechanical actuators and a generic fire control system. The turret and gun platform was modeled with rigid bodies defining the majority of the structure using the CAE program ADAMS and flex bodies via FEA models where applicable (ex. gun tube). Two simultaneous electric drives that actuate gun motion were composed of a number of parts whose stack up tolerance could impact gun pointing performance. To handle this contingency, classical joints were replaced with contact forces creating the necessary boundary conditions allowing the additional degrees of freedom to be modeled, representing true machine like behavior. Finally, control systems were modeled in Matlab Simulink and co-simulated with ADAMS to create a complete virtual environment. This approach has lead to a more through understanding of this complex system through the integration of each domain physic’s embodied in the individual systems.