The focus of the Rhône-Alpes staff of the OPALE project is on code-coupling and software integration platforms for multidiscipline simulation and optimization codes. It relies on grid computing, parallel and cluster computing technologies.

Integration platforms

Grids for complex problem solving is one of the priorities of the IST chapter in the 6th Framework Program of the European Community. One of the challenges of the 21st century in the computer science area lies in the integration of various expertise in complex application areas such as simulation and optimisation in aeronautics, automotive and nuclear simulation. Indeed, the design of the reentry vehicle of a space shuttle calls for aerothermal, aerostructure and aerodynamics disciplines which all interact in hypersonic regime, together with electromagnetics. Further, efficient, reliable, and safe design of aircraft involve thermal flows analysis, consumption optimisation, noise reduction for environmental safety, using for example aeroacoustics expertise.

The integration of such various disciplines requires powerful computing infrastructures and particular software coupling techniques. Simultaneously, advances in computer technology advocates the use of massively parallel PC-clusters including thousands of processors connected by high-speed gigabits/sec wide-area networks. This conjunction makes it possible for an unprecedented cross-fertilisation of computational methods and computer science. New approaches including evolutionary algorithms, parameterization, multi-hierarchical decomposition lend themselves seamlessly to parallel implementations in such computing infrastructures.

Optimisation of a supersonic business jet aerodynamics by project OPALE.

This opportunity is being dealt with by project Opale since its very beginning. A software integration platform has been designed by project Opale for the definition, configuration and deployment of multidisciplinary applications on distributed heterogeneous infrastructure.
Experiments conducted within European projects and industrial cooperations using CAST have led to significant performance results in complex aerodynamics optimisation test-cases involving multi-elements airfoils and evolutionary algorithms, i.e. coupling genetic and hierarchical algorithms involving game strategies.