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On Wednesday the 23rd of August 2023, Chandrayaan-3 landed on moon. This meant that India joined a select group of countries, namely the United States, Russia and China, that have successfully landed on the surface of the moon. Back on earth, Dr. David Hoganson reviews the inner workings of a young girl’s heart as he considers the best course of action to address her congenital heart defect. Two life changing events, seemingly unrelated, yet they do share a common theme. Be it a mission into space or analysing the inner workings of a human organ, the world is increasingly making use of “simulations”.

In the not-so-distant past, a designer or engineer would need to build a prototype of a product to determine how it might function giving a set of conditions. This process would need to be repeated multiple times over to assess changes in those conditions. As you can imagine, the entire exercise would be quite costly from a resource’s perspective, both money and time. Nowadays, through the use of simulation software, a company no longer needs to rely purely on prototypes. Running simulations leads to sizable savings as less time and material will go towards a prototype and the entire design process can be accelerated. The adoption of machine learning or generative AI adds to the alure of  simulations as the software is able to suggest alternative designs to improve on the functionality of the product, all at the click of a button.

Software developed and licenced by companies such as Ansys enable a user to simulate the impact of different elements on a product, be it heat, light or even sound. Simulations could be run at a component level , on the entire system and nowadays a mission can even be simulated from start to finish. What makes this software truly remarkable is that it is able to accurately reflect real world physics. Take for example, a company that may be designing a new router and would like to better understand how hot the circuit board within could become. Returning to our previous example, Ansys’ software was utilised across multiple aspects of India’s space mission, including antenna and sensor optimisation as well as engine analysis. The idea that we are able to accurately predict how a radio wave might behave in a given environment or how the light from the sun might reflect off a particular surface is nothing short of astounding.

The ability to run increasingly sophisticated simulations is also shaping the way new technologies are being developed. Innovations in sustainable energy, industrial automation, electric vehicles and autonomous driving systems are all being progressed from proof of concept through to mainstream use cases through the use of simulations software.

Even our own bodies are becoming digitised. French-based technology firm, Dassault Systemes, has developed software that is capable of creating a digital twin of the human heart which can simulate its inner workings. In our example above, Dr. Hoganson is able to don a pair of glasses that enable him to view the inner workings of the child’s heart. Being able to view inside the organ provides the doctor with unique insight allowing him to make a far more informed decision regarding the best course of action to address the defect. He will even be able simulate the entire procedure as part of his preparation.

In the film, the Matrix, when given the choice between the red pill or the blue pill, Neo chose red. The simulation he was living in came to abrupt end and he was “flushed” out of the system. In “reality”, It seems likely that we will increasingly live in the world of the blue pill. The benefits of using simulations in the design of a product, system or even mission are too powerful to ignore. The innovations that are being unlocked through the use of simulation software by companies such as Ansys or Dassault Systemes are set to change the world around us and these companies have a front row seat into a world of possibility. How the use of simulations will proliferate in the future remains an open question but to quote Neo: "I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin."

Ready to embrace the future of innovation? Start your journey with Sasfin's cutting-edge simulation solutions today!

About the Author

Jonathan Wernick
Senior Equity Analyst, Sasfin Wealth

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