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CD-adapco, NCAS Partner for Urban Scale Weather Modeling
Posted Mon December 18, 2006 @12:31PM
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News The UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) will use the recently released STAR-CD v4.0 in a project aimed eventually at 5-day forecasting of urban air quality, dispersion and heat transfer.

Professor Castro, who with Dr Zhengtong Xie led the evaluation of commercial software at Southampton, notes that “partly for technical reasons but also because they have been the most engaged in the collaboration, CD-adapco has been identified as the vendor most appropriate for NCAS’s needs”.

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Then referring to CD-adapco’s own ParaSolids based geometry modeler and CAD-integrated product, he adds that, “STAR-Design is very user-friendly for complex geometries, generating polyhedral meshes which we consider essential for general urban topologies”.

Professor Belcher said “There is a growing need to be able to simulate flows in urban areas for applications ranging from pedestrian comfort and wind loading of buildings to dispersion of traffic pollutants and terrorist releases. This new partnership promises the tools we need to tackle these issues.” Fred Mendonça, CD-adapco’s director of Vertical Applications and Expert Systems adds, “We are particularly pleased with NCAS’s decision and look forward to productive collaborations. Urban Weather Modeling continues to be an area of keen interest to many research groups, environmental agencies and building services organizations worldwide; our commitment to this partnership confirms our serious intentions towards environmental flow predictions”.

Dr Xie has produced a set of demonstration predictions using STAR-CD v4.0. Results to date point clearly at the viability of LES with polyhedra for building applications, validated against experimental measurements and the University’s own DNS code, used by Dr Glyn Thomas (its originator) and Dr Omduth Coceal (at Reading) to produce genuine DNS data for similar situations. The first predictions were performed on laboratory models comprising simple box-shaped buildings. Results pointed clearly to the viability of polyhedral meshes for building environmental flows. CD-adapco software has now been applied to more complicated models – for example London’s Marylebone district.

In the next phases of the work NCAS teams at the Universities of Southampton and Reading will concentrate on exploiting CD-adapco’s modeling tools, centered around the recently released STAR-CD version 4.0, linking it with the UK Met Office’s codes and exploring the issues that arise in scalar (pollutant) dispersion and heat transfer effects. Licensing arrangements between CD-adapco and NCAS – free for all approved NCAS PI’s working on urban meteorology under the Weather Directorate – were finally approved by all parties in August 2006. Further information is available from Professor Ian Castro at the University of Southampton.

The research draws heavily on state-of-the-art observations made in collaboration with NCAS technology divisions. It both contributes to the development of improved predictive models for the atmosphere and makes considerable use of high resolution models for data interpretation and improvement of physical understanding. The research contributes to improved weather prediction, particularly concerning small scale processes and severe weather and also to better representation of small scale processes in global climate models.

The NCAS Weather directorate is a distributed centre comprising groups at six UK universities: Reading, Leeds, Southampton, Manchester, Salford, Essex and East Anglia. For further information see the NCAS Weather website. Acting Director: Professor Stephen Mobbs (recruitment of the NCAS Weather Director is currently taking place).

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