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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.



First 360-degrees Large-Eddy Simulation of a full engine

Jérôme DOMBARD |  17 June 2020

Within the PRACE project FULLEST (First fUlL engine computation with Large Eddy SimulaTion), a joint collaboration between CERFACS, SAFRAN and AKIRA technologies, Dr. C. Pérez Arroyo (post doctoral fellow at CERFACS) has carried out under the supervision of Dr. J. Dombard the first high-fidelity simulation of a part of the real engine DGEN380 (for now, from the fan to the combustion chamber). This 360-degrees integrated large-eddy simulation contains around two billion cells on the three instances, carried out with the AVBP code of CERFACS.  The CPU cost is obviously large but still within reach, performing around one turn of fan during 5 days over 14400 skylake cores. Post-treatments are in progress and already show, among other complex phenomena, a strong interaction between the high pressure compressor and the combustion chamber (see forthcoming paper GT2020-16288 C. Pérez Arroyo et al). Below a video showing: in the fan an isosurface at mid-height of the vein colored by the Mach number, in the high pressure compressor a gradient of density, in the bypass of the combustion chamber the static pressure and in the flame tube a temperature field. One of the goals of the project is to create a high-fidelity unsteady database to study interactions between modules and may help other teams to develop new lower order models and/or validate existing ones. Beyond the feasibility and the maturity of the AVBP code, this kind of calculation is an important milestone for the aeronautical industry and would allow to apprehend earlier in the design the effect of integration and installation and thus, to reduce the cycle and therefore the cost of the future aircraft engines. PRACE and GENCI CPU ressources and Safran Tech/DGAC fundings are gratefully acknowledged, along with the invaluable technical support at CERFACS: Dr. G. Staffelbach, Dr. F. Duchaine, Dr. L. Gicquel, Dr....Read more

B. Cuenot distinguished as Program Chair of international Symposium on Combustion

superadmin |  29 May 2020

B. Cuenot has been distinguished as Program Chair for the 39th International Symposium on Combustion, to be held in Vancouver (Canada) in 2022. The International Symposium on Combustion is a major event for the combustion community, where the current best research is presented.Read more