Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
News Release

November 14, 2001

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to Partner in Combustion Research

PITTSBURGH — Scientists at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) are collaborating with other university researchers to improve software technology for simulating the complex physics and chemistry involved in combustion. The goal is to employ terascale computing systems, such as the recently installed six-teraflop system at PSC, to aid design of more efficient and pollutant-free combustion processes.

With a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, PSC will work with researchers at the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin. This university-based team will also collaborate with researchers at the Combustion Research Facility of Sandia National Laboratories.

The team will demonstrate performance of the new software in a series of studies selected for their technical challenge and scientific value. These projects include compression-ignition of gaseous or liquid hydrocarbon fuel in a turbulent inhomogeneous mixture and nitrogen-oxide emissions from hydrocarbon-air turbulent jet diffusion flames.

This three-year effort, led by Arnaud Trouve of the University of Maryland, builds on a collaboration between PSC and a Sandia team led by Jacqueline Chen. Initiated in 1998, the collaboration has produced a direct numerical simulation (DNS) application program named "S3D." Implemented on massively parallel computers such as the IBM SP series and the Cray T3E, S3D is a compressible Navier-Stokes solver coupled with an integrator for detailed chemistry.

The SciDAC team will re-design S3D for effective use on terascale computing systems. They will also add new capabilities, including a numerical scheme for efficient time integration, an immersed boundary method to allow for geometrical complexity, and adaptive mesh refinement for flexible spatial resolution. The team also will add to S3D the ability to more realistically account for physical phenomena involved in combustion, including thermal radiation, soot particles and liquid fuel droplets.

The new terascale S3D software will be adapted to fit into an advanced software framework, known as the Grid Adaptive Computational Engine (GrACE) framework. GrACE is a massively parallel framework targeted for adaptive-mesh applications and includes load-balancing capabilities. In addition, S3D will be made compliant with a software interoperability standard, the Common Component Architecture (CCA) developed by a consortium of DOE laboratories and academic institutions. The CCA environment will allow exchange of software components developed by different teams working on complementary tasks.

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

PSC Public Information Contact::

Michael Schneider
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

PSC Program Contact::

Sergiu Sanielevici
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

© Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC)
Revised: November 14, 2001
URL: http://www.psc.edu/publicinfo/news/2001/combustion-11-14-01.html