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Engineering Computing Newsletter: Issue 42
- First Release of the TEAM CFD Software for the Common Academic Software Library
- Announcing a New Version of RALpage
- Addressing ECN Readers
- EASE Technical Reports
- Software Tools for STEP
- European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research
- Annual Report of CFD Community Club
- Introduction to Programming with Graphical User Interface Design Tools
- Visualisation Software Meeting
- Forthcoming Events
First Release of the TEAM CFD Software for the Common Academic Software Library
The first set of software to form part of the CFD Common Academic Software Library has now been installed, and is available through the Higher Education National Software Archive (HENSA). The software comprises 4 codes, developed at UMIST, and is collectively known as TEAM (short for Turbulent Elliptic Algorithm Manchester). The function of each of the codes can be summarised as follows.
TEAMKE is a 2D finite difference/ finite volume k - ɛ code using Cartesian grids. It can be applied to plane and axisymmetric flows, and laminar or turbulent flows. There is the option of using either Quadratic interpolation (QUICK) or Power Law interpolation (PLDS) to discretize the convective terms. The mesh used in the code is designed for a pre-determined grid arrangement only. Although considerable flexibility is offered through the use of non-uniform grids, there is no provision to handle unstructured grids.
TEAMASM is a TEAM code using the algebraic Reynolds-stress turbulence model. The basic features are as for TEAMKE described above.
GEORG is a TEAM code which generates orthogonal grids (body-fitted, curvilinear for both simple domains with smooth boundaries and for complex domains with discontinuities in the boundaries) by solving the inverse form of two Laplace equations. The method requires that only the four boundaries (East, West, North and South) be specified in the physical plane in terms of a discrete specification of their coordinates.
TEAMCOG uses curvilinear orthogonal grids and is thus used in conjunction with the grid generation code GEORG described above. It is a general program for simulating steady, incompressible flows in plane or axisymmetric geometries, using finite volume discretisation and tri-diagonal matrix algorithm in an AD! fashion for the solution procedure. The program solves for both turbulent and laminar flows. Turbulence effects are represented by either the k - ɛ model or the algebraic Reynolds-stress model. Both models are high Reynolds number versions and do not account for viscous effects. Wall functions are used to bridge the semi-viscous near-wall region.
Details regarding access to the software available from the archive appeared in the article NETLIB Archive by Tim Hopkins in the last ECN (Issue41: November 1992) alternatively contact the author. The codes are placed under the directory misc/cfd/software/ team/programs. Also included are Makefiles where appropriate, sample output, and some documentation as well as information on how to obtain further details.
The Library is intended to have a phased release, and the next item of CFD software to be included is currently in preparation.
M K Boparai, RAL
Announcing a New Version of RALpage
RALpage is a PostScript Level 1 previewer for X-windows. The original version was written in 1987 by Crispin Goswell. It has now been upgraded to version 1.7 by Roger May and P L Popovic. The upgrade was done to fix a number of bugs found in the code over the years and also to add a number of operators previously not implemented.
The additions to RALpage are the save/restore operators and the colour extensions to PostScript. The save/restore operators are used in the PostScript language to perform memory management The colour extensions include support for the colour images which were not possible in pure level 1 PostScript.
RALpage is written in C using the X11 libraries so it should be possible to port it to other X-Windows systems without any trouble.
RALpage has been dispatched to Kent for distribution and can be obtained from there via anonymous FTP. The tar file containing the source is located on unix.hensa.ac.uk in the directory /ftp/pub/misc/unix/ralpage. A file explaining how to build the source is included in the tar file.
Roger May, Informatics
Addressing ECN Readers
1993 will see the arrival of some major technical innovations: Ford will shortly be announcing the arrival of the Ford Sierra replacement and will be telling us that it is the product of £3 billion and 8 years of R&D. We have beaten Ford to it and already introduced our bit of new technology and whilst we haven't spent quite as much as Ford, we are now the proud owners of an all-singing-all-dancing relational database!
If things have gone well i.e. the gremlins are still recovering from Xmas, then the address labels for this edition will have been generated from the new database. Until now many requests to have addresses changed have apparently not been implemented whilst changes such as the change of status and name of the 29 Polytechnics to Universities have also apparently not been implemented. These have all been amended though we are aware of several odd addresses that need amending; our apologies to you if you have been caused any inconvenience through your address being incorrect.
Quite apart from making record maintenance easier the new database will also allow us to reduce our postal costs (I can provide details of the system to anyone who might be interested). This isn't the end of the changes and we hope to be bringing you a more diverse, more informative ECN in the very near future as a result.
The database is actually part of a larger system for administering conferences and seminars that will allow us to run the EASE Courses and Events Programme with more efficiently.
The 1993/94 EASE Programme is nearly finalised but too late for inclusion in this edition. There will be the usual good mix of seminars, courses and workshops. Included in the programme are repeats of some of our most popular courses from last year, such as C for Fortran Programmers and Introduction to Latex. The full programme will appear in the March edition.
Terry Mawby, ECN Editor
EASE Technical Reports
The following Technical Reports are available from E&A Group.
- ETR 1/90
- ETR 2/90
- ETR 3/90
- ETR 4/91
- ETR 5/91
- Sun Workstations: An Introduction to SUNOS
- ETR 6/91
- Sun Workstations: A Guide for New User
- ETR 7/91
- The LATEX Cookbook (revised and extended)
- Providing Kilostream Access to the Cray XMP at RAL from University of Sheffield
- ETR 9/91
- Research into Quality Assurance Software & Tools
- ETR 10/91
- Evaluation of Five User Interface Management Systems
- ETR 11/91
- EASE Central Server Assessment, Oct 1990- Feb 1991
Software Tools for STEP
The Control Systems Centre, in the School of Electrical, Electronic & Information Engineering, South Bank University, has recently successfully demonstrated the transfer of engineering information within the STEP/EXPRESS framework. This was the satisfactory conclusion to a 2 year LINK project. under the VACR Programme, which has just been completed.
The collaborative organisations were all from the building services industry and included Satchwell Control Systems Ltd, Ove Arup Partnership, Haden Young Ltd, Wix MacLelland Ltd and the Building Research Establishment The original aims were to develop computer-aided engineering management tools for the energy management systems (BEMS). The central, and first, requirement was to develop a prototype system to enable engineering information to be transferred between consultants/designers and manufacturers/suppliers. This was seen as the basis on which life-cycle models could be generated for complex modem BEMS. These models, originating from the design stage, would then evolve into aids for automatic configuration, commissioning, operational support, diagnostics and maintenance scheduling, as shown in Figure 1.
The actual implementation schema is shown in Figure 2, indicating both the reference and application frames. The first of these concerns the provision of the reference database structure from a NIAM diagram and its associated EXPRESS file format Diagrams are drawn directly to the screen and the EXPRESS code generated automatically. A prototype system (SINE) in APL established the validity of the principles, which were then mapped into a WINDOWS 3.1 environment using C (NESSIE). The C++ header and source code modules generated from NESSIE are effectively data schema animated, allowing the creation of reusable code and, more importantly, reusable specifications. The EXPRESS file is used as input to generate relational database structures; in this case that supplied by Caesar Systems Ltd.
The population of these structures by data has been achieved from an enhanced AutoCAD (Version 11) environment which generates intelligent drawings. The data is mapped into the Step Exchange File (SEF) by read/write modules which are not only user-specific, but related to the EXPRESS model for the current domain interest. The chosen implementation language was C++. being able to fully support object-oriented analysis and design, with single and multiple inheritance. It also addresses and corrects the inherent anomalies of C (eg C++ uses type safe linkage etc). The source code complies to the Bell Lab. AT&T standard version 2.1.
The enhanced AutoCAD provides the user with a considerable added bonus, because the generation of an underlying descriptive database from drawings enables, in principle, the automatic generation of any dependent and distinct drawing, or datasheet, from the parent.
The principles of automatic configuration had previously been demonstrated at the South Bank University by the generation of a so-called point file from a block schematic diagram drawn to the screen. This point file enables automatic soft configuration of a BEMS. In the LINK project reported here it was demonstrated how a functional block schematic, representing a basic air handling plant, could be used by the designer, not only to generate his own wiring diagrams, but also used to generated a descriptive SEF for transfer to a potential supplier. The EXPRESS model for the plant had been previously generated in the reference frame using NESSIE.
The recipient, a potential supplier, was able to generate not only terminal block wiring diagrams to its own, different, specification, but also basic commissioning sheets, both compatible to the design specified by the designer/consultant. Such facilities must ultimately provide the means for very substantial reduction in engineering project costs.
This represents a number of firsts, certainly for the UK, but also by international standards. Such tools are of very wide application (general engineering asset management, spares management, production planning, commissioning, maintenance etc) across a number of engineering sectors (process engineering, construction, assembly etc).
For further information - and a demo disk of NESSIE - contact:
Prof Frank Evans
Dr Felix Cheng
Control Systems Centre
European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research
COST Action F1 on Complex Three-dimensional VISCOUS Flows
The first meeting of the Management Committee of COST Action F1, Complex Three-dimensional Viscous Flows was held on 3 November 1992 in Brussels. The interests of the UK CFD Community were represented by Dr. C. Greenough (RAL, CFD Community Club) and Dr. M. Savill (Cambridge, ERCOFTAC South Pilot Centre). This COST action has been started on the initiative of Prof. I. L. Ryhming (EPFL, Lausanne) who is the chairman of the Management Committee.
COST provides a mechanism for European scientific and technological collaboration which complements the European Community's R&D programmes. It was established by a European Ministerial Conference in 1971. The membership comprises EC Member States:
COST operates through a series of cooperative projects which enable a variable number of participants to undertake research in areas of common interest and to exchange the results amongst themselves.
COST activities operate without any central funding for research expenditure. Each country wishing to participate in a COST Action agrees and signs a Memorandum of Understanding and agrees to make every effort to ensure that the necessary funds are made available under their internal financing procedures. In the UK, COST is organised through the Cabinet Office.
Contained in this issue of ECN is an open letter from the COST Action F1 Management Committee describing the action and the short-term plans to bring together interested parties within Europe together with a list of national contact names. Although a date of 20 December 1992 is quoted in the letter all proposals for co-operation will be considered by the Management Committee for inclusion in the Action.
Chris Greenough, Informatics
Annual Report of CFD Community Club
The SERC Community Club in Computational Fluid Dynamics was founded in March 1990 as one of four clubs set up under the EASE Programme and is now in its third year of operation. The membership has grown steadily to more than 500 and reflects a wide range of interests including the computation of flows around aircraft and in combustion engines, the mixing of chemicals in the process industry, the slow motion of viscous materials in the production of glass and the flow of rivers and tides. Some of the main achievements from the second year of the Club's activities include:
- Technical Meetings
- There have been five: CFD Community Club Plenary Meeting, Parallel Computing in CFD, Software Validation, Evaluation and Quality Assurance, Turbulence Modelling for Impinging Flows, and Visualisation in CFD. The average attendance at these meetings was 66, of whom 20% were from industry.
- Common Academic Software Library
- Three representative CFD packages have been identified and collected for distribution to the academic community through the High Education National Software Archive (HENSA) at the University of Kent. The first of these packages is the TEAM software from UMIST.
- Commercial Software
- The Club has secured the provision of FLOW3D, FLUENT and PHOENICS on the Cray at RAL for use by the
Problem and Data Set Catalogue: References to more than 50 sources of flow data and test problems have been collected and placed on HENSA for use by the community.
- Summer School
- The First CFD Summer School was held in September 1991 and provided a highly interactive introduction to CFD for the 24 attendees.
The Club co-operates with complementary CFD organisations in the UK, eg the European Research Community on Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (ERCOFTAC), and the Ministry of Defence Advisory Group on Computational Fluid Mechanics (MODAGCFM). This is reflected through the joint organisation of meetings and representation on the Steering Group which oversees the operation of the Club. Other members of the Steering Group are drawn from Engineering Board Subject Committees.
Membership is open to all interested in computational fluid dynamics. More details of the Club's activities are given in the Annual Report of CFD Community Club which is now available.
Mrs Debbie Thomas, Chris Greenough, Informatics
Introduction to Programming with Graphical User Interface Design Tools
Two courses Introducing OSF and Motif Programming Using Graphical User Interface Development Tools will be held on 16-17 February and 8-9 March, 1993.
Programmers wishing to develop an effective user interface for their application in the X Window System environment are offered various research and commercial toolkits, Graphical User Interface builders, UIMS and UIDEs. All these tools encourage rapid prototyping of user interfaces. The choice in terms of functionality vs cost of these tools varies widely. Hence, an introduction to these tools is essential for those attempting to adapt to this programming environment and use one such graphical user interface development tool. This course is designed to provide such an opportunity so that the participant actually gains hands-on experience with at least one of these tools. It is hoped that attending this course will lead to:
- better understanding of the underlying concepts and which class of tools to use
- provide some rudimentary experience of how a typical OSFI Motif based graphical user interface builder aids user interface development
- gain better insight into related issues such as ease of use, how to interface C and FORTRAN application routines with an event-driven user interface, how to display application graphics based on standard graphics packages such as PHIGS and interact with that graphical representation
The course does not attempt to cover the richness of X or that of the toolkits such as OSF/Motif but strictly limits itself to providing just a flavour of what is available and how to use a graphical user interface development tool to build an application. The aim is to take the awareness to a higher level for those who have not had an opportunity for an interactive demonstration of a graphical user interface development tool.
Since a major area of interest is to display application data using standard graphics in X Window System, PHIGS will be used to illustrate the use of graphics but prior knowledge of PHIGS will not be assumed.
The course will be a combination of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experience and will be given by Lakshmi Sastry and Julian Gallop.
Dr. Lakshmi Sastry, Informatics
Visualisation Software Meeting
RAL 11 November 1992
The entire Meeting was recorded on video and chaired by Dr Brodlie, with approximately 50 attendees.
Dr R J Hubbold (University of Manchester) talked about using massively parallel systems in graphics. He described their work on compositing engine and parallelising graphics code for a KSR1 machine.
Dr T David (University of Leeds) explained how people visualised fluid flow in history, and then how it was implemented in computers. He showed a video where a range of visualisation techniques were applied to a CFD dataset, explaining each technique and how these techniques can help researchers to understand their data.
Dr D Watson (IBM UK Scientific Centre) gave a thorough description of the IBM Data Explorer visualisation system.
Dr D Morris (University of Leeds and Silicon Graphics Inc) explained what multimedia is and how visualisation can benefit from it. He used Silicon Graphics Indigo with a video board to illustrate the capabilities of multimedia that can be exploited in visualisation.
Mr S Larkin (University of Manchester) described three case studies he has done using AVS:
- simulation of the mycelial growth of fungal spores
- analysing results from FLOW3D
- visualisation of British Aerospace COPPICE data)
Mr G Banecki (NAG Ltd) explained the ideas used when they were designing the GrasParc visualisation system in NAG.
The meeting closed with a panel session on Current Deficiencies and Future Remedies. The panelists were Mr J R Gallop (RAL), Dr I Curington (AVS Inc), Dr D Watson and Dr D Morris.
Information on how to obtain the video of the presentations will be advertised in a future Engineering Computing Newsletter. A copy of the presentations can be obtained by contacting me.
Mrs R Popovic, Informatics
- Neural networks for control and systems: principles and applications, 31 March - 1 April, 1993, University of Reading
- Advances in neural networks for control and systems,Friday, 2 April 1993, University of Reading
- 3D Visualisation in Engineering Research Seminar
- AIENG 93, Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Engineering, Toulouse, 29 June- 1 July 1993
- Modelling Fluid Flow using Vortex Methods, 17 March 1993, University of Manchester
- AISB '93 Conference, 29 March-2 April, 1993, University of Birmingham
- Interacting with Images, 10-12 February, 1993, National Gallery
- HCI International'93, 8-13 August 1993, Orlando, Florida,
- Fluid Engineering and Instrumentation,Cranfield, 1-4 February 1993