Open source Computational Fluid Dynamics using OpenFOAM

Humberto J. Medina, A. Beechook, Jonathan Saul, S. Porter, Svetlana Aleksandrova, Stephen Benjamin

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Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a tool that allows designers and engineers to readily evaluate the merits of a given design. It helps reducing the need to build and test prototypes predominantly at the early stages of the design process. CFD has been largely adopted by commercial aircraft manufacturers and is now considered an essential design tool. However, CFD is not as widely used for the design of light aircraft (for example, by amateur or enthusiast designers) mainly due to the cost associated with commercial CFD software. In recent years, a number of open-source CFD initiatives have emerged which have the potential to offer amateur or enthusiast light aircraft designers unrestricted access to CFD technology. In particular, the OpenFOAM project offers one of the most complete open-source CFD solutions and their software can be used without the need to purchase an expensive licence. Nonetheless, there are still some challenges to overcome in order to allow the widespread adoption of the CFD technology OpenFOAM offers by the light aircraft design community. In order to promote the use of OpenFOAM, an introduction of CFD using OpenFOAM (and some complementary open-source tools) will be presented, as well as practical examples and information to allow potential users to overcome some of the common challenges they are most likely to encounter.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventLight Aircraft Design: Methods and Tools - Royal Aeronautical Society , London, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Nov 201516 Nov 2015


ConferenceLight Aircraft Design: Methods and Tools
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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