Stanford Software Allows Aero-Engineering Students to Focus on Aircraft Design Instead of Computer Code
Stanford Report (CA) (01/24/12) Myers, Andrew
Stanford University researchers have developed Stanford University Unstructured (SU2), an open source computational fluid dynamics application that models the effects of fluids moving over aerodynamic components. The researchers say SU2 incorporates everything engineers need to develop a complete design loop for optimizing the shapes of aerospace systems. The software was designed as an alternative to commercial programs, which offer similar capabilities but can be prohibitively expensive. "The commercially available software is out of reach for most students, and does not allow for modifications to the source code that are needed for doctoral-level research," says Stanford's Francisco Palacios, who led the SU2 development team. SU2 is a freely customizable program, and developers, designers, and engineers are encouraged to customize it to fit their needs. "We welcome corrections, additions, and improvements to our application," Palacios says. Documentation and training also are available via Stanford's Aerospace Design Lab Web site, which includes a public forum where users and developers can seek advice and post questions.