Duque Presentation: Large Scale Unsteady CFD via In-Situ CFD Data Management

by Roger Rintala | April 14, 2015 10:23 am


Accelerating the Post‐Processing of Large Scale Unsteady CFD Applications via In Situ Data Reduction and Extracts
Dr. Earl P.N. Duque
Manager of Applied Research, Intelligent Light

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
1245‐1400 hrs
Lehman Building Room 272

Writing, storing, moving and post‐processing vast unsteady datasets can interfere with an engineer’s interpretation and reporting of results. This seminar will present ongoing research to develop new methods designed to extract and reduce large unsteady CFD derived volumetric data. In‐Situ data extraction whereby sub‐setting and segmenting the volume data using data extraction and analysis libraries directly integrated within the solver codes themselves is the first step. To further reduce the amount of unsteady CFD extract data written to disk, methods such as Proper Orthogonal Decomposition may be used to reconstructed the solution data within a given error band. This seminar will present preliminary research and how the CFD could use these techniques to analyze their large‐scale CFD solutions.


Duque_headshot[2]BIO: Dr. Duque manages the Applied Research Group at Intelligent Light, the makers of the leading CFD  post‐processing software FieldView. Previous to Intelligent Light, he was a tenured Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University. Prior to his time at the university, he was a Research Scientist for the Army’s Rotorcraft CFD Applications Group located at the Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation Facility at NASA Ames Research Center. His current research focuses upon the development of large scale data management techniques for multi‐physics simulations. He has been awarded the Lichten Medal from the American Helicopter Society for his pioneering CFD studies on the BERP helicopter rotors, the Army Superior Civilian Service Medal for his lead role in the use of CFD to study and alleviate vibratory load problems on the Apache‐Longbow and Comanche Helicopters and is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA.

  1. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Embry-Riddle.png
  2. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Duque_2.jpg

Source URL: http://blog.ilight.com/duque-presentation-large-scale-unsteady-cfd-via-in-situ-cfd-data-management/

No Compromise CFD with On-Demand HPC

by Roger Rintala | April 9, 2015 6:54 am

XDBview logo[1]The accessibility of HPC via cloud computing offers tremendous flexibility for CFD users with peak workload demands as well as for organizations and consultants who do not maintain HPC systems in house.


By designing a CFD workflow that maximizes the use of HPC systems and eliminates the transfer of volume data sets, productivity gains can be tremendous.  The ability to run high resolution, time dependent simulations and full suites of design points allow every idea to be thoroughly vetted.  Intelligent Light sponsored research used this approach to help a single researcher perform over 60 simulations and evaluate nearly 3TB of data for the AIAA High Lift Prediction Workshop.  Result files were post-processed remotely and only compact XDB files[2] were transferred to the user’s local workstation.


Learn how this was accomplished and see how this approach can make your CFD workflow more capable and productive.



  1. [Image]: http://www.ilight.com/en/products/xdbview
  2. compact XDB files: http://www.ilight.com/en/products/fieldview-power-tools/xdb
  3. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/whitepaper-massiveCFD
  4. Using XDB Workflows to Analyze High Lift Drag Prediction Workshop Simulations: http://blog.ilight.com/whitepaper-massiveCFD
  5. Massive CFD Data Handled Quickly Without Compromise: http://blog.ilight.com/webinar-massive-cfd-data-handled-quickly-without-compromise/
  6. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/webinar-massive-cfd-data-handled-quickly-without-compromise/

Source URL: http://blog.ilight.com/hpccloudcfd/

Wind Leaders Addressing Future Data Needs – Atmosphere to Electrons Initiative

by Earl Duque | April 9, 2015 4:44 am

[1]I had the honor and pleasure to participate in the Atmosphere to Electrons Workshop hosted by the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  The focus of the initiative is on the use of computational simulation to improve understanding and performance predictions from the microscale to the mesoscale.



FieldView image published in paper: “Turbulence Transport Phenomena in the Wakes of Wind Turbines”, Earl Duque, Intelligent Light; Pankaj Jha and Jessica Bashioum and Sven Schmitz, The Pennsylvania State University

The event brought together leaders from the wind energy community including National Labs, Universities and Industry. The purpose was to map out the direction for simulating the performance of a wind turbine farm; capturing the temporal and spatial scales from meso-scale (kilometer and hours) down to the airfoil boundary layer scales (micron and milliseconds). Morning and afternoon sessions began with a topical plenary talk followed by working groups focused on the computation and modeling needs at different scales such as Park Scale, Turbine Scale and Airfoil Scale.

Wind Farm - FieldView image as published in "Wind Farm Simulations Using a Full Rotor Model for Wind Turbines", J. Sitaraman, D. Mavriplis, E. Duque AIAA Paper 2014-1086[3]

Wind Farm – FieldView image as published in “Wind Farm Simulations Using a Full Rotor Model for Wind Turbines”, J. Sitaraman, D. Mavriplis, E. Duque
AIAA Paper 2014-1086


For me, it was clear that it will be essential to include in-situ data analysis methods and file I/O standards in order to work with the tremendous volumes of data that will be created and processed. This was recognized by many at the meeting.  The use of in-situ methods with FieldView and VisIt offers solutions to those grappling with the current data analysis bottlenecks.


FieldView image published in paper: "Turbulence Transport Phenomena in the Wakes of Wind Turbines", Earl Duque, Intelligent Light; Pankaj Jha and Jessica Bashioum and Sven Schmitz, The Pennsylvania State University[4]

With the high-caliber people from government, academia, and industry converging on this challenging problem, the A2E initiative[5] is making progress toward vast improvements in the understanding of the complex physics of wind flowing into and through wind farms.  DOE sees the potential to improve wind farm efficiency by 20% while drastically reducing operating costs for wind energy producers.

Related Research Papers:

  1. [Image]: http://energy.gov/eere/wind/atmosphere-electrons
  2. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Penn_Schmitz_windturbine_F300x159.png
  3. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/multi6_vort_column8.png
  4. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/5_Turbine_Farm.png
  5. A2E initiative: http://energy.gov/eere/wind/atmosphere-electrons
  6. Turbulence Transport Phenomena in the Wakes of Wind Turbines (AHS Paper): https://vtol.org/store/product/turbulence-transport-phenomena-in-the-wakes-of-wind-turbines-9687.cfm

Source URL: http://blog.ilight.com/a2e2015/

In-situ XDB Workflow Allows Coupling of CFD to Flight Simulator for Ship Airwake/Helicopter Interaction

by Roger Rintala | April 1, 2015 6:58 pm

Big Data, Big Challenge


Capturing helicopter interactions with a ship’s airwake in flight simulation made possible with in-situ XDB workflow.


An image from work described in “Coupled Flight Simulator and CFD Calculations of Ship Airwake using HPCMP CREATE™–AV Kestrel”, James R. Forsythe et al, AIAA 2015-0556. Disclaimer: The US Government and Dept. of the Navy do not endorse products or services.

The CREATE™–AV team undertook a simulation challenge last year: coupling the CFD solver HPCMP CREATE–AV Kestrel to the Navy flight simulator CASTLE® for a fully coupled rotorcraft simulation in a ship’s airwake. While high-fidelity ship airwake simulation data has been used with helicopter landing simulations, it had been based on queries of a static database.  This project marks the first time that the flight simulation system has incorporated helicopter and ship airwake interactions into the simulation.  Capturing the important interactions results in much higher realism and training quality.


Intelligent Light provided software and expertise to solve extraordinary challenges presented by the size of the data, the need to move it quickly, and to process and visulize the results.  Intractable with traditional CFD workflows, Intelligent Light’s unique In-situ XDB workflow solved the problem.


The approach, hover and landing sequence had a simulation duration of 45 seconds. The time to save, transfer and read these visualization files along with the massive space required to save them emerged as a significant roadblock to success.


In-situ XDB Workflow via VisIt/libsim provided the solution. The CREATE–AV team, aided by Intelligent Light, integrated VisIt’s in-situ post-processing library libsim into Kestrel. The resulting workflow created and saved FieldView XDBs (extract databases) as the simulation ran on the HPC resource. FieldView was then used for all visual flight checks and movie generation, without the burden of dealing with the volume grid and results.

“The long time-scales and high frequency content due to the blade motion made visualization a challenge, so an ability to create feature extracts was created using VisIt libsim’s capability to extract FieldView13 xdb files. This enabled the creation of animations at a physical resolution of 60Hz (every five iterations) over the 45 seconds simulated. The resulting 2700 extracts were post-processed using FieldView in batch and in parallel to render the animations in a few hours rather than the days it would have otherwise taken. This capability should be in a future release of Kestrel.”

- J. Forsythe, C. Lynch, S. Polsky, and P. Spalart, “Coupled Flight Simulator and CFD Calculations of Ship Airwake using HPCMP CREATE™-AV Kestrel[2]“,

AIAA paper 2015-0556

See AIAA 2015-0556[3] for details and acknowledgements.

  1. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CREATE_AV_CASTLE_md.png
  2. Coupled Flight Simulator and CFD Calculations of Ship Airwake using HPCMP CREATE™-AV Kestrel: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2015-0556
  3. AIAA 2015-0556: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2015-0556

Source URL: http://blog.ilight.com/in-situ-xdb-workflow-allows-coupling-of-cfd-to-flight-simulator-for-ship-airwakehelicopter-interaction/

Newsletter: DOE Case Study Highlights IL, FV Parallel Export from ANSYS® Fluent® 16.0

by Roger Rintala | February 20, 2015 4:57 pm



In this issue

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  2. [Image]: http://blog.ilight.com/visualizingsuccess/?utm_source=DOE+Case+Study%2C+Fluent16+HPC+export&utm_campaign=Newsletter+2%2F15&utm_medium=email
  3. View the archive: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs157/1102629376198/archive/1119837416821.html
  4. [Image]: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=ggek67cab&p=oi&m=1102629376198&sit=awjszijeb&f=fa5f1990-f21e-4fbd-ad20-e8e3255ca1bd

Source URL: http://blog.ilight.com/newsletter-doe-case-study-highlights-il-fv-parallel-export-from-ansys-fluent-16-0/