The UAB School of Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering has received funding from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The funding is to develop mesh generation tools specifically for JAXA. For those not familiar with this agency, their website says "JAXA is pursuing great possibilities in various aerospace fields and is striving to succeed with various research and development missions in order to contribute to the peace and happiness of humankind."

This is not the first time the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Yasushi Ito, Ph.D. have worked with JAXA. Previously, the Research Assistant Professor with the Enabling Technology Laboratory helped develop an efficient, automatic remeshing method for three-dimensional (3D) hybrid meshes. This was developed to accommodate them with changes of small devices easily and quickly.

The hybrid meshes are for viscous flow simulations and contain tetrahedra, triangular prisms, hexahedra and pyramids. During the engineering design process, many configurations needed to be evaluated to find the optimal configuration. Since mesh generation is a crucial step for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, meshes needed to be created in a reasonable amount of time. It takes time to create a high-quality volume mesh for each configuration with slightly changed positions of small devices if the mesh is generated from the beginning.

The local remeshing method is useful to minimize the time required for the mesh generation because a new mesh is created only around the small devices and the corresponding potion of a baseline hybrid mesh is replaced with it. The small devices to be inserted are represented as non-trimmed discrete surfaces. Three steps are required to automatically create a new hybrid mesh with the small devices: (1) Trimming of the small devices; (2) Hole cutting around them to define a remeshing region; (3) Local remeshing for the surface and volume based on user-specified parameters. Semi-structured elements on no-slip walls are maintained during the local remeshing process.