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Computational Fluid Dynamics Softwares

The CFD team at CERFACS develops a wide range of software tools for fluid flows, with or without chemical reaction. The major codes are listed below:

Explosions in building

Explosions in building: LES with the high-fidelity solver AVBP on an INCITE machine: 1 billion cells. A premixed flame propagates from the left to the right side of the picture and increases speed when it meets obstacles and generates turbulence. See many more examples and movies here. in the field of combustion and turbo machinery



AVBP is a LES (Large Eddy Simulation) code dedicated to unsteady compressible flows in complex geometries with combustion or without combustion. It is applied to combustion chambers, turbo machinery, safety analysis, optimization of combustors, pollutant formation (CO, NO, soot), UQ analysis. AVBP uses a high-order Taylor Galerkin scheme on hybrid meshes for multi species perfect of real gases. Its spatial accuracy on unstructured hybrid meshes is 3 (4 on regular meshes). The AVBP formulation is fully compressible and allows to investigate compressible combustion problems such as thermoacoustic instabilities (where acoustics are important) or detonation engines (where combustion and shock must be computed simultaneously).

AVBP is a world standard for LES of combustion in engines and gas turbines, owned by CERFACS and IFP Energies Nouvelles. It is used by multiple laboratories (IMFT in Toulouse, EM2C in Centralesupelec, TU Munich, Von Karmann Institute, ETH Zurich, etc) and companies (SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES, SAFRAN HELICOPTER ENGINES, ARIANEGROUP, HERAKLES, etc). It is also used as a usual benchmark code by many computing centers to test their machines. The code is managed using specialized tools: git for source management, Redmine to track users experience, bi annual release of new versions. 100 to 200 users work with AVBP in Europe and hundreds of different configurations are computed every year.

AVBP is also used today to compute turbomachinery (compressors and turbines) and to compute full engine configurations. Being able to compute simultaneously the compressor and the chamber of the chamber and the turbine or all three is now possible with AVBP. This is critical for multiple problems such as new propulsion concepts (such as Rotating Detonation Engines) or to study coupled phenomena such as the noise emitted from a gas turbine.

AVBP has always been at the forefront of HPC research at CERFACS: its efficiency has been verified up to 250 000 cores with grids of 2 to 4 billion cells. This was done through multiple PRACE (EUROPE) and INCITE (USA) CPU time allocations. This requires a continuous work on the code architecture itself. CERFACS collaborates with INTEL through an IPCC  to continuously increase the performances of the solver. Collaborations with IBM and NVIDIA are also frequent. Starting in 2019, CERFACS will be a member of the Excellerat Center of Excellence where AVBP developments will be intensified.

AVBP was the baseline code for the European Research Council advanced grant on thermoacoustics lead by IMFT and CERFACS: INTECOCIS (http://intecocis.inp-toulouse.fr) which finished in 2018. It is now the main code used by CERFACS, SAFRAN TECH and SAFRAN HELICOPTER in two ITN Marie Curie projects focusing on instabilities and ignition in annular chambers: ANNULIGHT coordinated by NTNU and MAGISTER coordinated by Un. Twente.


JAGUAR is a new high-order method developed at CERFACS and based on spectral difference techniques. It can offer very high orders of accuracy (4 to 8) on arbitrary meshes. Jaguar is developed jointly by CERFACS and ONERA to build a high-order tool for combustion and more generally for energetic applications.


elsA is a software owned by ONERA and co developed for certain aspects by CERFACS. For example, for aircraft aerodynamics or for turbo machinery, CERFACS develops certain aspects of elsA and applies this tool to various design problems.




Tribute to Françoise Chatelin

Brigitte Yzel |  23 July 2021

  Tribute to Françoise CHATELIN   Virtual & Face to Face event @ Cerfacs 14 October 2021, CERFACS, Toulouse (France) 2 pm - 6.30 pm   Cerfacs is organizing a half scientific day on Thursday October 14, 2021 in tribute to Françoise Chatelin who left us prematurely on May 14, 2020   After graduating from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (1960-63), and her PhD in Mathematics at Grenoble University (1971) , Françoise Chatelin led with worldwide recognition her research in many areas, from spectral theory for linear operators in Banach spaces and finite precision to Dickson algebras. Professor Chatelin taught at the Universities Grenoble 2 - Pierre Mendès-France and Paris 9 - Dauphine before moving to Toulouse in 1996. She became Emeritus Professor in 2015. She was a visiting researcher at Berkeley and Stanford Universities, IBM San Jose (Ca) and Yorktown Heights (NY). For almost a decade, she was a scientific manager in Industry (in charge of intensive computing) first at the Centre Scientifique IBM France in Paris (1985 -1992) and then in the Central Research Lab of Thales (known as Thomson-CSF at that time) near Paris (1992-95). Françoise Chatelin was Head of the Qualitative Computing group at the Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique (Cerfacs) in Toulouse, France. Professor Chatelin has authored four books; the first three are now classic references available from SIAM. Her second book Valeurs Propres de Matrices (Masson, Paris, 1988) has received the IBM - France prize for « Best Scientific and technical publication 1988 ». Beyond her scientific contribution, Françoise Chatelin played a structuring role on research at CERFACS through multiple thesis on innovative topics. This event is devoted to the human and scientific tribute of her life. As a faithful image of the active and passionate woman that...Read more

CERFACS is involved in the NextSim project

CERFACS |  19 July 2021

The primary objective is to increase the capabilities of Computational Fluid Dynamics tools on extreme-scale parallel computing platforms for aeronautical design. The Kick-Off Meeting took place on 12 March 2021. This project has received funding from the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement N° 956104. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Spain, France, Germany. For more information, please visit  EuroHPC website : Project webpage :Read more