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RocstarCAD: a New, DOE-Funded SBIR Project

February, 2017

The Illinois Rocstar development team was awarded a new DOE Phase I SBIR entitled, “CAD-Integrated Direct-to-HPC Simulation for Design and Optimization.” RocCAD project’s goal is to harden the Rocstar Multiphysics Simulation Suite code, integrate Computer-Aided Design (CAD) capabilities, and to distribute it under an open-source license that will allow unrestricted commercial use.

This project will produce the only open-source, massively parallel multiphysics application that is freely available and provides end-to-end, efficient, direct computer aided design to high performance computing simulation capabilities to government, industry, and academic users. Millions of dollars and over twenty years of research have been invested in Rocstar, a multiphysics simulation suite originally created at the University of Illinois Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets (CSAR) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Simulation and Computing program.
Rocstar is actively maintained by Illinois Rocstar LLC (IR) and is regularly used in the simulation of complex multiphysics systems.  Due primarily to its underlying research-based design and development effort over the years, the Rocstar Multiphysics Simulation Suite has become a package with a complicated compile and build procedure with complex human-readable input/output mechanisms with dependencies to third-party packages. These characteristics limit the application of Rocstar to well-trained computational physicists with a high level of expertise. Over the course of this project, the Illinois Rocstar development team will reverse this situation and shrink wrap Rocstar into a cohesive, high performance multiphysics simulation package that stands by itself and provides easy access to an average-level user. The plan will also enhance Rocstar’s adoption by government and private sector organizations as an open-source replacement for expensive and inflexible commercial off-the-shelf packages. To fulfill this goal, a number of important features, which are currently missing, must be implemented including a graphical user interface, the ability to directly import model information from CAD systems, a universal discretization tool, and a mechanism to distribute a binary packaged Rocstar.

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