Aero-Engineers Debut Open-Source Fluid Dynamics Design Application

Andrew Myers | | January 24, 2012

Each fall at technical universities across the world, a new crop of aeronautical and astronautical engineering graduate students settle in for the work that will consume them for the next several years. For many, their first experience in these early months is not with titanium or aluminum or advanced carbon-fiber materials that are the stuff of airplanes, but with computer code.

Thanks to a team of engineers in the Aerospace Design Lab at Stanford University, however, those days of coding may soon go the way of the biplane. At a recent demonstration, the Stanford team debuted "Stanford University Unstructured" (SU2), an open-source application that models the effects of fluids moving over aerodynamic surfaces such as fuselages, hulls, propellers, rotors, wings, rockets and re-entry vehicles.