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The main challenge facing simulation-based hydrodynamic design of naval ships comes from the complexity of the salient physics involved around ships, which is further compounded by the multidisciplinary nature of ship applications. Simulation of the flow physics using “first principles” is computationally very expensive and time-consuming.

Other challenges largely pertain to software engineering, ranging from software architecture, verification and validation (V & V), and quality assurance.

In the article “A Scalable and Extensible Computational Fluid Dynamics Software Framework for Ship Hydrodynamics Applications: NavyFOAM,” published in the November/December issue of Computing in Science & Engineering, researchers present  a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) framework called NavyFOAM that has been built around OpenFOAM, an open source CFD library written in C that heavily draws upon object-oriented programming.

Also in the article, the design philosophy, features, and capabilities of the software framework, and computational approaches underlying NavyFOAM are described, followed by a description of the V&V effort and application examples selected from Navy’s recent R&D and acquisition programs.