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NAS Develops Open Source Visualization Component
Posted Wed June 26, 2002 @05:34PM
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Post Processing NAS researchers are developing Field Model (FM), a software component for mesh and field data. FM is an open source software project that allows scientists to share data from a variety of scientific disciplines.

The FM design benefits from experience with previous software component efforts, such as the Field Encapsulation Library (FEL). One way that FM differs from FEL is in its open source approach to distribution.

Fields based on computational meshes are defined by associating values with the cells. In computational fluid dynamics (CFD), common examples of fields are the momentum, density, and energy fields surrounding an aircraft.

In analyzing simulation results, scientists are often interested in values derived from the fundamental state variables. For example, they might be interested in velocity or vorticity values derived from the density and momentum fields output by a simulator. Field Model includes classes that provide lazy derived field capability to compute the derived values only as needed, avoiding unused computations and saving on memory requirements.

Working with the NASA Ames Commercial Technology Office, the NAS Data Analysis group has established Field Model as an open source effort. By embracing an open approach, the NAS team hopes to encourage high-performance computing community participation and contributions.

The Field Model project is based at SourceForge.

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