Dynamic solutions for a fluid world™

AFT President & Founder | ASME Fellow - Trey founded AFT in 1993. He was the original developer of AFT Fathom (including the GSC and XTS modules), AFT Arrow and AFT Impulse. He was active in software development until 2011 and still works with the development team in addition to managing AFT. He has taught hundreds of training classes on AFT’s ...software products in twelve countries across every populated continent. He worked previously for General Dynamics in cryogenic rocket design and Babcock & Wilcox in steam/water equipment design. He holds a BSME (1985) and MSME (1986), both from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a registered Professional Engineer.   More
Trey Walters

Hang on when riding a banshee on an alien world!

Technology has sure come a long, long way. As I am sure all of you know, Disney has been a technology innovator in the entertainment industry for nearly a century. The gee-whiz things Disney does has helped inspire many like myself to pursue technology careers.

Once again Disney has used technology to create a "Wow!" experience. I am talking about the new Flight of Passage ride at Disney World in Florida. I visited there a few weeks ago on opening weekend of the new Pandora - World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. The new land and this ride in particular are based on the top grossing movie of all time - Avatar. This new ride ("attraction" in Disney parlance) is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I got to ride it twice on this trip. This ride simulates a wild ride on the back of flying banshee like those found in the Avatar movie. The Na'vi word for the banshee is Ikran.

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Trey Walters

All the Sexy Aerospace Stuff That is Happening

It was sometime around 1988 and it was pitch dark outside. I and some of my aerospace colleagues from work were driving in a car caravan from San Diego to Edwards Air Force Base at the ungodly hour of 3AM. The Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled to land that morning and we wanted to see it.

From the moment I woke up in the middle of the night and all the way through the drive to Edwards AFB to the parking and walk to the viewing area to the standing in the cool, early morning air for a couple hours, I was questioning whether the whole effort was worth it. The landing of Discovery was not even certain. Weather conditions could postpone the whole thing.

And then someone pointed at the sky and yelled "There she is!". And I saw her too. Then a minute later we all heard the distinct double sonic boom. And I instantly knew it had been worth it.

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Trey Walters

Are Oil Companies Really That Backwards?

I had to laugh when I read this article in last week's edition of Businessweek "Big Oil’s Rejection of Silicon Valley Is Finally Coming to End". Who would have thought oil companies were so backwards? I bet they still use sliderules too! Here is one of the opening quotes:

“Onshore North America used to be a market where state-of-the-art technology went to be humiliated,” said Tom Curran, an energy analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co. “You’ve had a clear shift occur where onshore North America for the first time in recent history has become a technology play.”

As I have alluded to in other blogs, I myself came out of the aerospace industry. I have always been involved in technology. Heck, I am an engineer. Apparently the only technology that counts as real technology happens in Silicon Valley.

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Trey Walters

2000 Years of Roman Pipe Technology and 100 Years of American Pump Technology

This past week I and Jeff Olsen, AFT’s V.P. of Technology, attended the annual conference of the Hydraulic Institute . The Hydraulic Institute (HI) was founded in 1917 and is America’s premiere pump organization. At this year’s meeting HI held a centennial celebration . For a technology organization like HI, 100 years is quite a feat and was rightly celebrated at the annual meeting this year. Many of you are familiar with HI through the standards HI creates. These standards show up in AFT Fathom in several places: Intake design  (pump submergence to avoid vortex formation) Pump viscosity corrections Slurry pumps...
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Trey Walters

Taking the Pulse of Fluid Systems: Introducing the New AFT Impulse PFA Module

Pulsation in fluid systems...Is it steady-state or is it transient? Well, it is both. Kind of. Pulsation causes periodic transients that are regular in nature and thus considered steady-state. It can be called "steady-state pulsation".

The problem is not whether pulsation is steady-state or transient. It is whether the frequencies that are excited by the pulsation are at or near the acoustic resonant frequencies of the fluid system. If so, there can be problems. API 674 defines the allowable pulsation limits for positive displacement pumps.

AFT will soon release the new PFA module for AFT Impulse. PFA stands for Pulsation Frequency Analysis. This new module will help engineers predict, understand and avoid resonant frequencies related to the fluid acoustics. It will also help engineers assess whether their system is in compliance with API 674.

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Trey Walters

America's Wacky New President...and Technology

I am not a political commentator. But anyone not living in a cave has to admit that the past year of American politics was just plain wacky. For those of you for whom English is not your first language, "wacky" is a word that basically means (by my personal definition) "strange, highly unusual and a bit crazy". Which also applies to Donald Trump.

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th American President two days ago on Friday, January 20th. I spent Friday and the rest of this weekend pondering this and what it might mean for those who work in technology. 

What actually happens under President Trump is anyone's guess at this point. Leaving aside (to the political commentators) all of the wacky things President Trump has said, I am going to take some time here to speculate on what it means for technology. I am talking of technology here in a broad sense, and not the ridiculously narrow sense one often sees it portrayed - as if Silicon Valley technology is the only technology which is important.

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Trey Walters
Dear Michael: I will tread carefully in the area of politics and just say that there are many places in the world where similar t... Read More
Monday, 06 February 2017 16:17
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Trey Walters

Seventy-Five Years After Pearl Harbor, Which Was 38 Years After First Flight at Kitty Hawk

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which catapulted the United States into World War II. For Americans, there was no way to miss the abundant news coverage and the stories of vets who were there that day and are still alive today to share their experiences. As I read about and watched some of the ceremonies and news it got me thinking about the astounding progress humankind made in the 20th century in the field of aviation.

The Wright brothers made their first successful, sustained flight on December 17, 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That in itself was an astounding accomplishment. Their Wright Flyer aircraft today resides in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. (see below a photo I took in 2008). I could spend days at that museum and the extended air and space museum in Virginia, but alas I only have had time to spend one day at the main museum in Washington D.C. and have not had an opportunity to visit the one in Virginia.

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