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Research Award to Spur Exascale Study of Turbulence
Posted Wed December 22, 2021 @11:06PM
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News Imperial College London researchers have won an award from the UK ExCALIBUR initiative to deliver the next generation of high-performance simulation software in the fields of transport, energy, and air quality.

Dr Sylvain Laizet of Imperialís Department of Aeronautics has received £1 million ($1.3M USD) to redesign computational fluid dynamics (CFD) flow solvers and develop supercomputer-ready algorithms for studying turbulent flows.

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This proposal brings together communities from the UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC) and the UK Consortium on Reacting Flows (UKCRF) to ensure a smooth transition to exascale computing, with the aim to develop transformative techniques for future-proofing their production simulation software ecosystems dedicated to the study of turbulent flows. Understanding, predicting and controlling turbulent flows is of central importance and a limiting factor to a vast range of industries. Many of the environmental and energy-related issues we face today cannot possibly be tackled without a better understanding of turbulence.

The UK is preparing for the exascale era through the ExCALIBUR programme to develop exascale-ready algorithms and software. Based on the findings from the Design and Development Working Group (DDWG) on turbulence at the exascale, this project is bringing together communities representing two of the seven UK HEC Consortia, the UKTC and the UKCTRF, to re-engineer or extend the capabilities of four of their production and research flow solvers for exascale computing: XCOMPACT3D, OPENSBLI, UDALES and SENGA+. These open-source, well-established, community flow solvers are based on finite-difference methods on structured meshes and will be developed to meet the challenges associated with exascale computing while taking advantage of the significant opportunities afforded by exascale systems.

The project will focus on four high-priority use cases (one for each solver), defined as high quality, high impact research made possible by a step-change in simulation performance. The use cases will focus on wind energy, green aviation, air quality and net-zero combustion. Exascale computing will be a game changer in these areas and will contribute to make the UK a greener nation (The UK commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2050). The use cases will be used to demonstrate the potential of the re-designed flow solvers based on OPS and 2DECOMP&FFT, for a wide range of hardware and parallel paradigms.

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