NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I

PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 06.09-7093

PROJECT TITLE: Unified Process Management System for Computational Fluid Dynamics


The project objective is to create a unified process management system for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes using the NASA flow solver PAB3D as the prototype solver. Initially a basic system will be created to tie together the existing PAB3D system which includes a preprocessor, main solver and a post-processor. The basic system will include tools for intelligently guided grid modification and algorithm selection. In Phase II, guidance will be added to all aspects of the system, in the form of a highly interactive interface that will offer detailed advice on grid quality, solver algorithm choice including parameter settings, and evaluation of key flow features. An innovative feature of the system will be its ability to redistribute and adapt the grid in order to improve the robustness and accuracy of the solution. The final form of the system will fully implement the recently published CFD General Notation System (CGNS) and thus will be able to drive multiple CFD codes easily. This will directly benefit NASA by providing a powerful expert system interface to its many research codes. An additional benefit to NASA will be the encouragement of CFD input/output standardization, since a code developer could obtain a mature expert system for his code by adopting the CGNS standard.


CFD codes are increasingly being used by small companies, research organizations, educational institutions, and private entrepreneurs. By making CFD tools more robust while also improving the accuracy and providing physical insight to the user, the newly developed system will increase the commercial viability of CFD as useful design tool. Major industries that use CFD codes include aerospace, automotive, bio-medical, electronics packaging, manufacturing, and civil engineering. Computational efficiency is key in producing quality CFD results quickly enough to be of use to commercial design engineers. Often, inexperienced or rushed users will unknowingly pose grossly inefficient problems due to poor grid design and/or algorithm setup. The commercial value of a unified expert system is that its detailed feedback and automatic grid modification capabilities will allow novice users to quickly gain experience in properly posed CFD analysis, while under minimal supervision. Experts will also benefit by the ability to quickly switch between different CFD codes to obtain the best fit for the flow regime under consideration, thus maintaining design cost.


Khaled Abdol-Hamid
Analytical Services & Materials, Inc.
107 Research Drive
Hampton , VA 23693-1340


Analytical Services & Materials, Inc.
107 Research Drive
Hampton , VA 23666-1340