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High-Order Mesh Generation for CFD Now Available in Pointwise
Posted Thu September 20, 2018 @04:16PM
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News The latest release of Pointwise’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) mesh generation software delivers high-order, curved mesh generation, the fundamental building block required by the next generation of CFD solver software that promises dramatic increases in solution accuracy and computational efficiency.

"High-order numerical schemes hold a great deal of promise for improving the accuracy of CFD with the added benefit of a decrease in the number of mesh cells versus linear mesh methods," said John Chawner, Pointwise’s president.


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“Over the past several years we have been developing and testing new software to generate the high-order meshes needed by these new CFD solvers, and we are now able to release the first version of this capability.”

“Mesh curving has been a research focus at Pointwise for several years, partially funded by a NASA Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract,” said Dr. Steve Karman, the Pointwise research engineer behind the new high-order capability. “Collaboration with several flow solver developers has been extremely helpful in evolving the technology to the level where realistic geometries with viscous boundary layers can now be curved. The initial release of this capability in V18.2 allows users to uniformly elevate their meshes to polynomial degree 2, 3 or 4. Under a follow-on NASA Phase II SBIR project the technology will be matured to permit mixed-order meshes and solution-based adapted meshes.”

high order mesh
Pointwise V18.2 was used to generate this polynomial degree 2 hybrid mesh for a notional fighter aircraft designed in the Engineering Sketch Pad software. The surface mesh consists of a mixture of quadrilateral and triangular cells (black lines) with yellow dots indicating the nodes inserted on mesh edges. A cut through the hybrid volume mesh down the aircraft centerline shows the cells colored by volume. Image made in ParaView.

Pointwise has been fortunate to work with leading researchers across the globe while developing this high-order capability and is honored by their enthusiasm for its release in the production software.

Dr. Ryan S. Glasby of the University of Tennessee has been an evaluator of Pointwise’s high-order meshes during pre-release testing. He wrote, “The release of Pointwise V18.2 that includes polynomial degree elevation and mesh curving capabilities represents a watershed moment in the history of CFD. With this capability, CFD solutions generated by DoD HPCMP CREATE(TM)-AV Kestrel component COFFE with Pointwise degree 2 meshes contained accurate coefficients of lift and drag with an order of magnitude fewer degrees of freedom than CFD solutions generated by other solvers on other meshes.”

Dr. Peter Vincent, Reader in Aeronautics and EPSRC Fellow at Imperial College London wrote, “Compact high-order schemes can potentially offer industry a range of benefits including accurate and efficient resolution of unsteady turbulent flows. However, such schemes require high-order curved element meshes to work efficiently, and these have proven notoriously difficult to generate in a robust way, especially for complex geometries. I see the addition of such capability to Pointwise as a potential game-changer in this regard, and I am confident it will enable adoption of compact high-order schemes amongst a wider community of fluid dynamicists.”

Dr. Edwin Van Der Weide from the University of Twente had the following to say: “The new degree elevation and mesh curving capability in Pointwise V18.2 enables us to generate high-order grids beyond the academic test cases we could handle with the SU2 in-house mesh deformation tools. As such, these new capabilities give us, and many other groups, the possibility to advance the development of SU2 to the level of industrially relevant configurations.”

Dr. Z.J. Wang, Spahr professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas and founder of hoCFD LLC, a software company offering a high-order CFD solver, wrote, “I am thrilled that Pointwise is releasing a high-order meshing capability because it is considered the biggest bottleneck in high-order CFD simulations. This release is huge in propelling high-order CFD computations into mainstream real-world applications.”

Pointwise Version 18.2 also accelerates the generation of surface meshes (named spacing constraints, a mesh spacing synchronization command, and a quick way to split curves into pieces of equal arclength), enhances the generation of hybrid meshes with the T-Rex technique, and offers improved user experiences (an on-screen tool for panning and rotating the view, a vastly expanded context menu, and a quick display of keyboard shortcuts).

Download Pointwise V18.2 now.

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.

Pointwise is a registered trademark of Pointwise, Inc. in the USA and the EU. Pointwise Glyph, T-Rex and Let's Talk Meshing are trademarks of Pointwise, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owner.

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