Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering


Essentially, distance functions (raw and modified nearest surface distances) are needed for RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes) turbulence modelling, general computational interface tracking for multiphase and free surface flows, electrostatic Coulomb force modelling and also flame front and explosion modelling along with ray tracing for optics and acoustics. They can also be used to capture Knudsen layer effects in microscale flows and for the implementation sponges and various other numerical wave reflection damping strategies and stabilising measures for LES (Large Eddy Simulation). Furthermore they can be used to implement hybrid LES-RANS strategies. Distance functions, can under certain circumstances be evaluated using expensive search operations. Alternatively, differential equations can be solved. Here, it is proposed to explore the solution of differential distance function equations on unstructured (where a wide range of cell shapes can be tessellated in a flexible fashion) moving and overset meshes to yield the above noted capabilities which are highly desirable for general purpose CFD codes. Flow solutions using such grids are increasingly common. However, robust mesh generation still presents a significant challenge. This is especially so if use is made of hexahedral cells and the higher numerical fidelity that they provide. Hence, here it is proposed to also explore the use of novel differential distance function related equation based approaches for: hybrid grid generation (hexahedral boundary layer cells linked to tetrahedral cells outside the boundary layer); pure hexahedral grid generation and overset grid computational interface location. The differential equations explored will include the hyperbolic Eikonal, Hamilton-Jacobi and elliptic Poisson. Especial attention will be paid to the economical and accurate solution of these equations on moving, unstructured over-set grids with mixed element topologies using finite element, finite volume & boundary element methods.


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Secundov AN (2007) Propulsive jets and their acoustics. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Xia H (2010) Level sets for CFD in aerospace engineering in Progress in Aerospace Sciences

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Tucker P (2011) Hybrid Hamilton-Jacobi-Poisson wall distance function model in Computers & Fluids

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Xia H (2012) Novel applications of BEM based Poisson level set approach in Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements

Description We developed an automatic method for generating hexahedral meshes of high quality in two-dimensions that can be extruded to three-dimensions.

As a spinoff we also generated an approach for geometrical de-featuring.
Exploitation Route We have transferred the source code developed as part of this project to Rolls-Royce plc and the work has received follow on funding to extend to three-dimensions.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Transport

Description The source code we developed was transferred to Rolls-Royce plc. We received follow on funding from Rolls-Royce plc to extend this work.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment,Transport
Impact Types Societal

Description Meshing in turbomachinery
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013