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Multiphysics Simulations Supersonic nozzle flow against a flat plate, showing density (grey) and vorticity (colors). Read More >

Rocstar Simulation Cutaway of a joint slot in the Space Shuttle solid motor showing inhibitor fluid-structure interaction. Read More >

Illinois Rocstar Celebrates 10 Years!

June, 2017

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Illinois Rocstar LLC. In June of 2007, five researchers working together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets (CSAR) decided to form a company to give new life to the UIUC Rocstar Simulation Suite (Rocstar). Rocstar was developed under DOE funding over 10 years at CSAR. Illinois Rocstar LLC, the product of that decision, has gone on not only to upgrade the original Rocstar into the current open-source Rocstar Multiphysics toolset, but to perform work in many other areas of Computational Science and Engineering.

The original Rocstar was a flexible, multiphysics, fluid-structure-interaction (FSI) tool designed to run on some of the largest supercomputers in the world to simulate the performance of solid propellant rocket motors (SRMs). Since then, Illinois Rocstar has used Rocstar to model heated flows out of Navy ship stacks, turbine engine flows, wind turbine blade and jet nozzle noise, SRM plume characteristics, and much more.

Beyond Rocstar Multiphysics, a large body of work has been developed in microstructural modeling of materials including rocket propellants, explosives, and ultra-high-performance-concrete at the mesoscale (micron) level. Special-purpose simulation tools have been developed to model facets of energetic material cookoff, rocket propellant aging, shock-to-detonation transition, and more. Our Rocpack microstructure packing tool has been important throughout the mesoscale work: it can be used to construct many different types of 3D packs from many different shapes. Other areas of physics, such as nanoparticle combustion and electrochemical (battery) simulations have been modeled, and significant work in simulation Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) has been performed. Initial tools for these, including the ICED package for electrochemical modeling and ROCUQ for uncertainty quantification, have been produced over the last decade.

Overall, Illinois Rocstar has produced a wide variety of custom simulation tools during its first 10 years for a wide variety of customers. Several industry partners in various areas have contracted with us as well as the US Department of Energy, NASA, Air Force, Army, Navy, Missile Defense Agency, and DARPA. To date, most of our products have been special-purpose and were designed to solve specific client problems. We are currently working on several projects to bring these advanced, high-performance solutions to a wider audience through the use of browser-based cloud computing. Projects such as ChemistryHUB, ChemistryLAB, RocstarCAD, and MultiscaleHUB promise to bring our advanced simulation technologies to scientists and engineers who may find current computational tools too hard to use. Our goal is to provide a seamless, easy-to-use, user experience for these advanced tools. Broadening the base of advanced modeling and simulation use throughout the US industry and government can only improve the competitiveness of the US industrial base and Illinois Rocstar is primed to be part of that process during our second decade.

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