Realistic Interactive Visualization for Computational Fluid Dynamics


Dr. David S. Ebert (PI)


NSF Research Initiation Award, 1994-1997


Visualization of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations is an important tool for CFD researchers. However, current visualization systems are lacking in several ways. First, many systems fail to display all of the three-dimensional information contained in the data, only displaying stream-lines, contour plots, or isosurfaces. Second, most systems are a post-processing step only and cannot be incorporated into the development cycle for the computational model. Third, most systems do not allow multiple flow variables to be displayed simultaneously in an easily understandable format.

This project will develop an interactive surface and volumetric visualization system for the three-dimensional visualization of CFD simulations. This system will use realistic volume rendering techniques for gases and fluids to display the complete three-dimensional data from the CFD simulation, including the simultaneous display of multiple flow variables. Three-dimensional perception aids, such as accurate shadows, atmospheric attenuation, and refraction, will be used to increase the understandability of the data. Furthermore, the system will allow researchers to visualize and to change their models interactively, aiding in the debugging of the computational models and decreasing the development time of the CFD simulation. This new system can be used as an interactive virtual wind tunnel.



Contact David Ebert, .