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The Applied Fluid Mechanics group (AFM) at FFI was established in 1987. The goal then was to explore the potential of the new national supercomputer, the Cray-XMP installed at the Technical University in Trondheim.

At that time there was an interest in internal wave propagation in the ocean and the atmosphere. Internal waves exhibit nonlinear behavior and it was natural to describe them by numerical solutions.


The "wave-codes" developed for the internal waves were based on a spectral collocation method which appeared attractive due to its high accuracy. The activity of the group consisted of developing numerical solvers and analyzing the output of simulations. A texture-based volume render called Viz was developed and used to explore numerical data.


The limitation of the spectral methods to box-like geometries motivated us to explore numerical methods that could cover more complex geometries. At the same time it was evident that more applied and realistic problems contained dissipation. In particular, relevant engineering problems involved high Reynolds-number flows and turbulence. To get some geometric flexibility and high accuracy we chose the spectral element method (SEM) and started to develop a Navier-Stokes solver based on that numerical method.


As computers grew bigger and numerical algorithms became more efficient, the interest in solving fluid mechanical problems using numerical techniques gained momentum and new applications came up. We have been involved in various applications, including aero/hydro dynamics applied to airplanes and underwater vehicles, noise generation by turbulence applied to acoustic sensors, and aerosol dispersion in the environment or the human airways.


We concentrate our efforts within applied and basic fluid dynamics, both experimental and computational, using the SEM code and Finite Volume codes.  Turbulence models are improved by for example utilizing structure based tensors. Tools for analysis and visualization fluid data both from experiments and simulations are developed and optimized. New functionality is added and built into the texture/GPU based volume render called Voluviz.

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