Computational Steering in Civil Engineering
Computational Steering provides methods for the integration of modeling, simulation, visualization, data analysis and post processing. The user has full control over a running simulation and the possibility to modify objects (geometry and other properties), boundary conditions and other parameters of the system interactively. The objective of such a system is to explore the effects of changes made immediately and thus to optimize the target problem interactively. We present a computational steering based system for fluid flow problems in civil engineering. It is based on three software components as shown in figure 1. The modeler is the CAD-system AutoCAD, which offers a powerful programming interface allowing an efficient access to the geometric data. It also offers convenient manipulators for geometric objects. The simulation kernel is a Lattice-Boltzmann (LB) solver for the Navier-Stokes equations, which is especially suitable for instationary flows in complex geometries. For the visualization and postprocessing we use the software tool AVS, which provides a powerful programming interface and allows the efficient visualization of flow fields. These three components are interconnected through two communication modules and three interfaces as depicted in figure 1. Interface 1 is responsible for the transformation of the modified system for the simulation kernel, interface 2 is responsible for the proper preparation of the simulation data whereas interface 3 transforms the data from the modeler into a format suitable for the visualization system. The whole system is synchronized by the two communication modules.
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