FORT WORTH, TX (17 September 2003) – Pointwise, Inc. has been awarded a research contract from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center for a feasibility study of software techniques for converting computer-aided design (CAD) data into solid models suitable for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) meshing. The 6-month effort (with a potential 3-month extension), was awarded under the Navy's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.
The lack of integrity in CAD data is one impediment to the effective use of CFD for solving engineering problems of interest to the Navy. One example of a simulation impeded by poor CAD data involves aircraft operating in and around a ship's airwake. These CFD simulations are hindered by the fact that CAD data for the ship and/or aircraft when delivered to the engineer is not suitable for CFD meshing due to two main problems. The first problem involves geometric surfaces that don't properly fit together and instead contain gaps and overlaps (more specifically, they "leak"). The second problem involves excessive detail, both in the number of entities used to define the geometry (for example, using thousands of surfaces to define the hull) and in the level of geometric detail included in the CAD file.
The current process for handling CAD geometry is for the engineer to manually repair the CAD file to the extent practical and then deal with the remaining complexity during CFD meshing. The research to be performed by Pointwise will study the feasibility of using a software tool to automatically make the CAD geometry suitable for CFD meshing. In other words, make the surface geometry "watertight".
Dr. John Steinbrenner, Pointwise's Vice President of Ressearch and Development and Principal Investigator for this contracted research, foresees the long term benefits of this project. "Problems with CAD geometry are the biggest problem with applied CFD today. Creating watertight surface geometry in software will free the engineer to focus on the simulation results and fluid dynamics phenomena."
Pointwise, Inc. is solving the top problem facing engineering analysts today: mesh generation for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Gridgen runs on Unix, Linux, and Windows; generates structured, unstructured, and hybrid grids; and interfaces with CFD solvers such as Fluent, STAR-CD, and CFX as well as many neutral formats like CGNS (www.cgns.org). Large manufacturing firms and research organizations worldwide rely on Gridgen as their complete preprocessing toolkit. Further information on Gridgen can be obtained from Pointwise's website, www.pointwise.com.
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