Finite element methods are an emerging technology in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These methods are able to handle the highly non-linear nature of aerodynamics with increased accuracy relative to traditional methods. Part of that increase in accuracy derives from the use of meshes in which the cell boundaries are curved by defining them in terms of polynomials of degree greater than or equal to two. However, these types of meshes are challenging to create for the high Reynold’s number flows typically encountered in aerodynamics.
"Pointwise has been working on mesh curving technology for several years, and we have generated meshes for many customers as a free service to test and evolve our techniques," said Dr. Steve Karman, principal investigator of the selected proposal. "The NASA Phase II funding will allow us to extend that technology to the parallel computing environment and interact directly with a CFD flow solver to automatically adapt the mesh to evolving features in the flowfield.”
Pointwise’s current mesh curving technology was used to generate this quadratic mesh with prisms and tetrahedra for a generic spacecraft lander from the ESP gallery of geometries. Image created using ParaView. [larger image]
An integral component of the mesh adaptation portion of the proposal is closely coupling the geometry model of the object being meshed with the CFD flow solver. The proposal discusses use of a mesh-geometry associativity schema and direct geometry access tools in order to create a robust, production-level capability.
Subsequent to successful contract negotiation, work is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2018. In the interim, Pointwise plans to move its current mesh curving technology into production software.
Pointwise, Inc. is solving the top problem facing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) today – reliably generating high-fidelity meshes. The company's Pointwise software generates structured, unstructured, overset and hybrid meshes; interfaces with CFD solvers such as ANSYS FLUENT®, STAR-CCM+®, OpenFOAM®, and SU2 as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS; runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, and has a scripting language, Glyph, that can automate CFD meshing. Manufacturing firms and research organizations worldwide have relied on Pointwise as their complete CFD preprocessing solution since 1994.
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