Work in Progress: Vortex Detection and Visualization for Design of Micro Air Vehicles and Turbomachinery

R.J. Vickery, H. Thornburg, T. Wischgoll, C. Koehler, H. Dong, M. Pickett, N. Eikenberry, L. Harris, R. Snyder, D. Sanders, R. Hand
High Performance Technologies, Inc. (HPTi), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH; Wright State University, Dayton, OH; Central State University, Wilberforce, OH; US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH; Lockheed Martin IS&GS, Vicksburg, MS
Proceedings of 2011 DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program Users Group Conference, HPCMP UGC 2011, Portland, OR


   title={Work in Progress: Vortex Detection and Visualization for Design of Micro Air Vehicles and Turbomachinery},

   author={IS&GS, Lockheed Martin and Vicksburg, MS},

   booktitle={Users’~{} Group Conference},



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Vortex detection and visualization is an important technique for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelers and analysts. Since vortices are often not just local phenomena, algorithms for detecting the vortex core can be expanded by the use of streamline placement and termination methodologies to appropriately visualize the vortex. We are enhancing an existing VCDetect software tool for vortex detection to include new algorithms applicable to small-scale micro air vehicles (MAVs), improve the interface, and integrate it with Department of Defense (DoD) Visualization Toolkit (VTK)-based production tools. The code is being updated to include the latest parallelization features for efficient usage. The current VCDetect VTK-based code was developed with an XML file-based interface, and was partially parallelized with multi-threading. The code was tested with a few common examples and some turbo-machinery data test cases. In this work we are integrating newly developed visualization and vortex detection algorithms. An improved interface is added to allow the tool to be used both interactively and to easily set up multiple batch runs. Since this interface is expected to run on the user’s local desktop, we are securing the communications using a previously developed direct through ssh methodology. We are also further parallelizing the code using the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), and we are applying it to a new problem domain in the area of micro air vehicle (MAV) design. Finally this code will be made available to more DoD users by coordinating with the High Performance Computing Modernization Program’s (HPCMP) Data Analysis and Assessment Centers (DAACs) to include it in the Computational Science Environment (CSE) suite of production tools and libraries. We describe the extent of our work to date, and provide information on our path forward to completion of this project by 31 August 2011.
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