In this issue
- XDBview used as STEM teaching aid for Australian students
- AIAA Generation STEM: Discovering Aerospace through Experience
- Japan’s Aerospace Fluid Science Summer School
In this issue
AIAA held their first Generation STEM event and Intelligent Light is proud to have supported this special program at its launch. Generation STEM is an education outreach program anchored by a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fair. Nearly 350 students from middle schools (6th through 8th grade) in the Los Angeles area came to the event and spent a few hours exploring and observing real-world phenomena, participating in design projects, exploring engineering, astronomy and chemistry. The experiences and discussions provided a glimpse of what is happening in science and engineering today and offered an invitation to a future in technical disciplines.
AIAA’s Generation STEM event is unique in that it is an outreach from the aerospace industry directly to the students. This personal connection created a great deal of enthusiasm among the students and gave many a glimpse into a future in aerospace that they can believe in. The explorations, experiments and projects were immediately relevant to them.
Students were engaged by a large complex of hands-on explorations, mini-design challenges, demonstrations and special speakers lead by Dr. Sandy Magnus, a NASA astronaut and now AIAA Executive Director. Additional speakers included young engineering professionals and students who described the motivations, educational paths and skills they had developed that were important to their success. (AIAA photos)
Intelligent Light, a longtime corporate partner of AIAA, engaged students in large numbers through a station co-presented by NASA that introduced some basics of observing and understanding fluid mechanics via Bernoulli’s Principle. Students were directly involved in hands-on fluid flow experiments, wind tunnel demonstrations that allowed airflow to be seen and explored and were introduced to the use of CFD simulation with powerful visualizations that illuminated fluid flows in ways the students had never before been able to observe. We had energetic discussions about the skills of observation, importance of understanding, need for analytical methods, engineering intuition and places to observe the effects of fluid flows in the day to day world around us. Students learned that their real-life observations and understanding would power their ability to discern “correct” presentations of behaviors and create ideas for advancing discovery and design.
Scalable Knowledge Capture is Essential to Avoid CFD Bottlenecks
NASA’s CFD Vision 2030 Study details the many challenges that remain to routinely obtain accurate physics-based predictions of complex turbulent flows, including how to streamline and automate analysis to gain knowledge. Evolving HPC architectures will produce huge amounts of data, and future CFD technologies must be built to both realize the promise and avoid the pitfalls of this uncertain landscape. At Aviation 2015 this summer, Intelligent Light’s Dr. Earl Duque participated in an expert panel that discussed visions for post-processing and knowledge capture to meet the NASA 2030 CFD goals. Dr. Duque will be the lead author on the summary paper targeted for SciTech 2016.
Reduced Order Modeling Identified in the Study as an Enabling Technology
Reduced Order Modeling (ROM) can both compress and summarize, in a physics-oriented way, large unsteady CFD results and experimental data. Dr. Duque’s Applied Research Group at Intelligent Light has been successfully collaborating with BYU in an Air Force Research Laboratory-funded research effort to apply ROMs and Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs) to turbomachinery CFD. This is one example of how a partnership of government, industry and university researchers is working to make NASA’s 2030 CFD vision a reality.
Considered by many to be the critical element in preparing students to succeed in the modern economy, STEM education is important to you and your children.
When his daughter and her classmates wanted to understand aerodynamics, Dr. Darrin Stephens of Applied CCM knew he could bring examples from his work to help. Dr. Stephens is a FieldView user and is accustomed to showing clients and colleagues characteristics of fluid flows he’s been studying using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Using CFD simulation and FieldView gave him a powerful way to help students see what they can’t directly observe, a problem engineers face all the time.
The students are participating in a human powered vehicle competition. They recognized that as their vehicle moved faster, the affects of airflow could limit the speed they could attain and maintain. They asked Dr. Stephens to help them understand some basic aerodynamic concepts. He responded by bringing real-life CFD solutions to the classroom and sharing those results with XDBview.
“As part of my lesson I used FieldView XDBview (latest version is fantastic by the way!) with the result from my previous V8 super car simulations to help explain & demonstrate drag, induced drag, streamlines etc.” – Darrin Stephens, Applied CCM
XDBview allowed Dr. Stephens to show moving airflow and explain the impact on a racecar, effects that are similar to what the students would need to consider. Having used FieldView to post-process his unsteady OpenFOAM simulation solutions, he created lightweight XDB files and used XDBview to interactively explore the flow solution and explain aerodynamics to the students. Because the XDBview session was fully interactive, they were free to ask questions and see new representations of the flow field.
Fluid flows and aerodynamics surround us but students need some training to look for them and to consider them when pursuing projects like their human powered vehicles. Demonstrations such as Dr. Stephens’ shared help students see what they normally can’t, understand new phenomena and send them out of class better prepared to become skilled observers of fluid mechanics when they can see its effects during their daily lives.
After the demonstration, the students asked for videos they could continue to watch and share with their parents. The videos on this page show the CFD simulation results from a flow study of a Holden VE Commodore V8 supercar.
Darrin Stephens is a founder and managing director of Applied CCM, an engineering software development company with offices in Australia and Canada.