Pointwise Receives NASA Funding for Mesh Curving Technology

NASA funds High-Order Mesh Curving software for CFD applications.

It’s been a good couple of weeks for Texas-based CAE company Pointwise.

At the end of February, the Fort Worth company received the 2018 Small Business of the Year Award from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. And just this week, the company announced the successful selection of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II proposal for its “High Order Mesh Curving and Geometry Access” by none other than NASA itself.

This two-year, approximately $700,000 funding effort will advance Pointwise’s current mesh curving technology and permit mixed order meshes and h-p adaptation in a parallel environment.

Meshing done right. (Image courtesy of Pointwise.)

Meshing done right. (Image courtesy of Pointwise.)

The Pointwise platform is a CFD meshing package that covers all of preprocessing, from geometry model import to meshing to flow solver export.

Finite element methods are an emerging technology in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These methods are able to handle the highly nonlinear nature of aerodynamics with increased accuracy when compared to traditional methods. Part of that increase in accuracy derives from the use of meshes, in which the cell boundaries are curved by defining them in terms of high-order polynomials of degree greater than or equal to two. However, these types of meshes are challenging to create for the high Reynolds number flows typically encountered in aerodynamics.

“Pointwise has been working on mesh curving technology for several years, and we have generated meshes for many customers as a free service to test and evolve our techniques,” said Steve Karman, principal investigator of the selected proposal. “The NASA Phase II funding will allow us to extend that technology to the parallel computing environment and interact directly with a CFD flow solver to automatically adapt the mesh to evolving features in the flowfield.”

An integral component of the mesh adaptation part of the proposal is closely coupling the geometry model of the object being meshed with the CFD flow solver. The proposal discusses using a mesh-geometry associativity schema and direct geometry access tools in order to create a robust, production-level capability.

Following successful contract negotiation, work is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2018. In the interim, Pointwise plans to move its current mesh curving technology into production software.

The company’s Pointwise software generates structured, unstructured, overset and hybrid meshes and interfaces with CFD solvers such as ANSYS Fluent, STAR-CCM+, OpenFOAM and SU2, as well as many neutral formats. Manufacturing firms and research organizations worldwide have relied on Pointwise as their complete CFD preprocessing solution since 1994.

You can get hold of a free trial of Pointwise software at the following link.