Scalable computational steering for visualization/control of large-scale fluid dynamics simulations

Modi A., SEZER UZOL N., Long L. N. , Plassmann P. E.

Journal of Aircraft, vol.42, no.4, pp.963-975, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.2514/1.7727
  • Journal Name: Journal of Aircraft
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.963-975
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The development, integration, and testing of a general-purpose "computational steering" software library with a three-dimensional Navier-Stokes flow solver is described. For this purpose, the portable object-oriented scientific steering environment (called POSSE) library was used. This library can be coupled to any C/C++ simulation code. The paper illustrates how to integrate computational steering into a code, how to monitor the solution while it is being computed, and how to adjust the parameters of the algorithm and simulation during execution. The simulations typically run on a parallel computer, whereas the visualization is performed both on the parallel machine and on other computers through a client/server approach. In addition, the visualizations can be displayed using virtual reality (stereographics) facilities to better understand the three-dimensional nature of the flowfields. A key advantage of our interactive CFD system is its scalability. For large-scale simulations it is often not possible to postprocess the entire flowfield on a single computer due to memory and speed constraints. Therefore, scalable interactive computational steering and monitoring systems are essential. Example applications are presented including flow over a helicopter fuselage, a helicopter rotor, a ship airwake, and a landing gear. The advantages of using object-oriented programming are also discussed. Copyright © 2004 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.