The sonification of numerical fluid flow simulations
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software simulates fluid, air flow and heat transfer by solving the Navier-Stokes (N-S) equations numerically. Realistic 3-D engineering simulations typically yield the values of 7 or more variables (e.g. fluid component velocities and temperatures) at hundreds of thousands of points in space, all as a function of time. It has been noted that solutions of the N-S equations sometimes yield highly complex, non-linear flow fields which can be aesthetically interesting from a purely visual standpoint. The analysis of CFD results may benefit substantially from sonification, to depict convergence behavior, scan large amounts of data with low activity, or codify global events in the flow field. As a corollary to this interest in developing CFD sonification techniques, we can explore its unusual potential as a tool for algorithmic musical composition. This paper will report the results of an initial implementation of the author's port of the two-dimensional, steady, laminar CFD code TEACH-L on a JAVA platform, in which the numerical output is linked in real time to the JSyn digital audio synthesis package. The sonification of steady, laminar, developing flow in a two dimensional duct will be described in detail.