Space-Time Conservation Element Solution Element Method

animation of a vortex passing through a reflected shock generating acoustic

Shock Vortex Interaction

New Publications: Updated August 23, 2006


The engineering research and design requirements of today pose great challenges in computer simulation to engineers and scientists who are called on to analyse phenomena in continuum mechanics. The future will bring even more daunting challenges, when increasingly complex phenomena must be analysed with increased accuracy. Traditionally used numerical simulation methods have evolved to their present state by repeated incremental extensions to broaden their scope. A broadly conceived method is needed to meet future simulation challenges.

At NASA GRC, researchers have been developing a new numerical framework for solving conservation laws in continuum mechanics, namely, the Space-Time Conservation Element and Solution Element Method, or the CE/SE method for short. This method has been built from fundamentals, and not as a modification of any previously existing method. It has been designed with generality, simplicity, robustness and accuracy as cornerstones.

The CE/SE method has thus far been applied in the fields of computational fluid dynamics, computational aeroacoustics and computational electromagnetics. Computer programs based on the CE/SE method have been developed for calculating flows in one, two and three spatial dimensions. Numerous results have been obtained, including various shock tube problems, the ZND detonation waves, the implosion and explosion problem, shocks over a forward-facing step, the blast wave issuing from a nozzle, various acoustic waves, and shock/acoustic wave interactions. The method can clearly resolve shock/acoustic wave interactions wherein the difference of the magnitude between acoustic wave and shock could be up to six orders. In two-dimensional flows, the reflected shock is as crisp as the leading shock. CE/SE schemes are currently being used for advanced application to jet and fan noise prediction and to chemically reacting flows.

A list of key features and advantages of the CE/SE method follows.

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