Intelligent Light and FieldView

Applied CCM uses OpenFOAM and FieldView for Unsteady Turbulent Flows

Recently posted videos created by Dr. Darrin Stephens of Applied CCM provide an example of how FieldView is used in the day to day work of engineers.  Applied CCM is an engineering software development company with deep expertise in applying OpenFOAM to study fluid mechanics for its clients.  Dr. Stephens uses FieldView to ensure productivity and to clearly present results to his clients.

These videos (#1 flow over entire car, #2 directly behind car) show basic airflow characteristics around a Holden VE Commodore V8 supercar design. This is part of a set of case studies Applied CCM developed for an SAE World Congress paper in 2014.


The vehicle's surface has been colored by the local pressure results (−3000 to 0 m2/s−2) while streamlines show airflow characteristics. FieldView image courtesy of Applied CCM Pty Ltd.

A good video sequence can be a powerful way to show key flow characteristics and patterns but the views and content are fixed when a movie is made.  Applied CCM went a step further and used XDBview to interactively explore datasets.  XDBview users freely change views, look at different scalar values, apply thresholds or add/remove display elements like streamlines.  Having this capability in a free viewer using compact datasets allows Dr. Stephens to share insights with clients or give individuals the ability to freely explore and interact with complex data on their own.

FieldView XDB files are compact, accurate and provide the ability to interrogate even large, time-dependent data on individual computers regardless of location or connectivity.  Dr. Stephens also used XDBview to introduce middle school students to basic aerodynamic behavior  using the Holden VE Commodore V8 supercar models shown in this article.


In this image, displayed vectors show the direction the vehicle surface needs to be moved to increase the lift. The vectors are colored by the absolute value of the z component of the shape sensitivity limited to a maximum value of 5. FieldView image courtesy of Applied CCM Pty Ltd.

The case studies quantified the sensitivity of designs to pronounced features such as areas of large curvature, sudden changes and sharp edges. 

New equations were developed to preserve time symmetry for turbulent flows.  First published in the SAE paper, the new computational approach was implemented using the OpenFOAM library.

Related publication

Application of Time Symmetry Preserving Adjoint Solver in External Car Aerodynamics

Jemcov, A., Stephens, D., and Sideroff, C., "Application of Time Symmetry Preserving Adjoint Solver in External Car Aerodynamics",SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0412, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0412

XDBview used as STEM teaching aid for middle schoo...
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