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Real Time Particle Tracing Software For Finite Element
Simulations of Fluid Flow Applications
Steven Ford
This project involves the development of a FORTRAN code that simulates particle
tracing on CFD solutions of fluid flow problems. Particle tracing is a means
of visualizing flow properties that is very intuitive. Particle tracing
involves releasing massless particles into a fluid flow. The particles follow
streamlines in the fluid and provide a visual representation of the fluid
motion. Particle tracing is often used in experimental flow analysis and, as
such, is an established means of studying a flow. The motion of the particles
allows the observation of large scale effects such as boundary layers and
vorticity.
Contaminant dispersion around M1 battle tank at 20 mph
Many existing particle trace programs require all necessary data to be input
prior to the displaying of the results. These programs read the data, perform
the calculations, and store the particle trace information for replay. The
particle trace can then be displayed as a recorded movie. The focus of this
project is to implement "real time" particle tracing on CFD solutions. A real
time particle trace displays the motion of the particles as they are computed
allowing the user to interact with the simulation and manipulate objects within
the flow while the trace is running.
Airflow past an automobile at 55 mph
The program generates a prescribed number of particles at random locations
within a defined release plane. These particles move with the fluid based on
the solution which was computed previously through a numerical simulation. The
movement of the particles is computed and displayed at each time step in real
time. This allows the software to be applied to any mesh in order to observe
the particle trace results immediately. The program also provides the option
of recording an image at each time step for use in creating a movie of the
results.
Airborne contaminant flow in a subway tunnel
The above images display the results of applying real time particle tracing
to the numerical solutions of various fluid flow problems.
