Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Playing around with SU2 Compressible Flow Solver

The folks at Stanford's Aerospace Design Lab have an open source solver called Stanford University Unstructured (SU2) (AIAA ASM 2013 paper). The nice thing about this code is that it does not have very many third-party dependencies, so you can just download the source and compile with a pretty plain vanilla system that is probably already installed on your Linux workstation of whatever flavor. There are lots of example input decks in the TestCases tarball so be sure to download that as well.

NACA0012, Mach=0.5, AoA=1.0 degrees, hybrid mesh
Few exotic dependencies and easy portability across systems is a definite plus, but one of the things I don't like so much about their development model is that you have to register to get the links to the source. The license may be GPL, but it's not really an open development model yet. I understand that this is a bit of an experiment with open source for the folks at Stanford, and they want to track how many visits and registrations they get, but I'd encourage them to go open all the way: let everyone have read access to the repo without registration; put it up on git and let a bunch of forks bloom!


  1. Yes, and excellent suggestion. Although I think the chances of someone putting in the work for a decent fork are slim.

    And as far as finding out, say, how many downloads of a file there has been -- it's trivial. On my Ubuntu web server I could simply type from a terminal:

    grep "name-of-file" /var/log/apache2/other_vhosts_access.log | wc

    It's only if they want my name and other personal data rather than my IP address that a web server's log files are lacking. Why does everyone and his brother want personal information nowadays?

    1. George said: "... the chances of someone putting in the work for a decent fork are slim."

      I think you're right; the barriers to entry are pretty high. The code seems to be targeted at providing a baseline for grad students to build on top of; hopefully those folks are generating significant development branches.