This Week in CFD


  • Velcro and Tang may be the best examples of commercialization of NASA’s technology, but an article in NASA Spinoff describes research on reducing the aerodynamic drag of tractor trailers and the resulting product – Airtabs, vortex generators applied after-market to a truck, trailer, or even car. [It looks like they cost $2.75 each and a kit of 80 is sufficient for a standard trailer making the price around $220.]
  • Simulation of Under Water Explosion Using MSC.Dytran
  • This is neither new (it’s from 2011) nor CFD (it’s thermodynamics) but interesting nontheless: using COMSOL to aid an award-winning chef in his preparation of a halibut roll. (Article begins on page 62.)
Temperature distribution in Chef Gunnar Hvarnes' award winning halibut roll from the Bocuse d'Or in 2011. Image from COMSOL.

Temperature distribution in Chef Gunnar Hvarnes’ award winning halibut roll from the Bocuse d’Or in 2011. Image from COMSOL.


Density distribution in a plasma z-Pinch computed with USim. Image from Tech-X.

Density distribution in a plasma z-Pinch computed with USim. Image from Tech-X.

  • Tech-X released USim 1.0 for fluid plasma modeling on structured and unstructured meshes.
  • Kitware released Paraview 3.98 for CFD postprocessing. This release includes the ability to save images in vector formats, use mathematical symbols in annotations, transparent surfaces, and more.
  • In other Kitware news, the free but not open-source CFD code, ufo-cfd, is described including its integration with Paraview.
  • New mesh selection mechanisms are coming in the Scan-and-Solve plugin for Rhino.
  • Flow Science announced the release of FLOW-3D Version 10.1 including features too numerous to list here.
  • And there’s more mesh manipulation goodness in this video from MeshMixer.
  • Hibou Scientific Software released Khamsin v1.0, a CFD extension for (formerly Google) SketchUp. This new release includes, among other things, the ability to run using Amazon EC2 cloud computing.
  • Notes from SU2’s version 2.0 workshop are now available online.
  • ThermoAnalytics released RadTherm 10.5.

News in Brief

  • If you hurry, you still might have a chance to get a free poster of the winning CD-adapco calendar contest entry (academics only).
  • Silicon Mechanics was recognized with an Intel Cluster Ready Award at Supercomputing 12 in part for their work in developing a turnkey solution for Flow Science’s FLOW-3D/MP.
  • The new director of the U.S. Air Force’s Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) is Dr. Douglas Blake is an aerospace engineer with CFD on his resume.
  • Best of the visualization web for December 2012
  • Australia’s DSTO purchased a $2.2 million supercomputer for use with CFD on a development of a new submarine.
  • The White House Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing has been named as a keynote speaker for this year’s Collaboration and Interoperability Congress. [Announced via email, can’t find on website.]

Grid Immersion

Artist Jeongmoon Choi uses colored string and black lighting to create cool art installations. The one picture below, called Birdcage, should be called Structured Grid. This might not be the best office decor but it would be great to outfit a hallway like this. (As originally seen on Colossal.)

Jeong Moon, Birdcage

When generating a structured grid, do you ever feel like hiding in a corner?

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