Saturday, July 13, 2024

ISRO’s Structural Analysis Software ‘FEAST’ Now Accessible to Indian Academia and Industries

The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of the Indian space agency ISRO, has developed an analysis software that is used to perform Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of various types of structures including rockets, aircraft, satellites, buildings, etc.

FEA is a computerised method for predicting how a component or a structure reacts to real-world forces- like various types of structural loads, thermal conditions and other physical effects that a structure experiences while in operation.

During the design and development phase of a product, FEA is carried out to evaluate how well and safely the structure/component can withstand the various loads, and perform its intended function without any failure.

So far, users have mostly depended on expensive software versions from foreign firms for this function. With their latest offering—an FEA software known as FEAST (Finite Element Analysis of Structures)— Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to take this indigenous and customisable FEA software to the Indian user base.

“The FEAST software tool is the result of decades-long efforts by generations of scientists and engineers at ISRO’s lead centre VSCC, Thiruvananthapuram. We started building this tool for our own internal use and developed considerable expertise in this field. That’s when we decided to ensure that our software be shared with the larger FEA user base within India” Dr S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, VSSC, ISRO, told WION.

He said that FEAST has been made available for Indian academia at a fraction of the price of similar foreign offerings.

A free trial of the FEAST software is also available at the ISRO/VSSC website:

Operable in both Windows and Linux operating systems, the software is capable of running on systems with minimal hardware configurations. FEAST is available in three versions, based on the sophisticating levels and requirements of a broad category of users — academic (for students and educational institutions), premium (for small and medium scale industries) and professional (for general large scale applications).

So far, FEAST has been used by the structural design community in all major ISRO centres across India.

In order to popularise this software among the potential Indian user base, the ISRO has also taken efforts to publish a book targeting the under-graduate and post-graduate students, offering more insights into the fundamentals of FEA method and how FEAST can be used for solving real-world problems.

The book titled ‘Introduction to Finite Element Analysis’, has been written by practicing structural analysis experts of VSSC and Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) and edited by Dr S Somanath, Chairman, ISRO, Secretary, Department of Space and Dr Unnikrishnan Nair.

Elaborating on the contents of the book, Nair said that it covers the basic concepts and applications of FEA in an easy-to-understand manner. It is specifically aimed at introducing this advanced topic to undergraduate level engineering students and practicing engineers in a lucid style with thrust on how FEAST software developed by VSSC can be understood through worked-out problems and tutorials.

“The first part of the book deals with the basics and introductions to the concepts of finite element method. The latter part encapsulates various features of the software, the use cases, how to model problems using FEAST, how to give various inputs and how the results of analysis can be viewed and interpreted ” Nair said.

He also mentioned that the software has been periodically updated and enhanced, as per user feedback. In recent times, every year national level user’s conference of the FEAST community is held to seek feedback to deliver a better offering, with every iteration of the product.

Recently, the book on FEAST was released at a function held in ISRO headquarters, Bengaluru. The book was released by Prof TG Sitharam, Chairman, AICTE. ISRO chief Somanath and top officials presided over the function. Springer India is the publisher of the book.


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