SMILE software system



Since mid-70s, the researchers at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics SB RAS (Novosibirsk, Russia) have been involved in the development of the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method, the principal numerical technique for modeling rarefied non-equilibrium gas flows. The result of these efforts is a unique DSMC computational system called SMILE (Statistical Modeling In Low-Density Environment) that solves a wide range of basic and applied problems of high-altitude aerothermodynamics, vacuum gas dynamics, and physics of microflows. The founder, and for a number of years the lead developer of SMILE was Professor Mikhail Ivanov, a prominent Russian scientist who made pioneering contributions to kinetic theory and computational fluid dynamics. The current team of SMILE developers includes well known experts in computational rarefied gas dynamics and high-altitude aerothermodynamics who closely collaborate with the Russian space industry (RSC "Energia", NPO Lavochkin, OJSC "Red Star", etc.) and the European Space Agency on high-altitude aerodynamics of satellites, space stations, and reentry capsules.

The objective of the SMILE software system is to provide scientists and engineers with a modern, easy to use implementation of state-of-the-art numerical schemes of the DSMC method that can be applied to a wide range of challenging high-altitude aerodynamic problems in 2D, axisymmetric, and 3D configurations. The SMILE system employs the modern theory of the DSMC method and is based on accurate and robust majorant frequency schemes. SMILE features innovative implementations of grid generation, variable time step, and strongly non-equilibrium chemically reacting flow modeling. The SMILE system provides a complete computational lifecycle that starts with the geometry model creation, followed by the problem setup, the principal flow modeling stage, post-processing and, finally, the visualization of obtained results. All SMILE subsystems have a user-friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI). The integrated chemical database contains sets of the molecular data for more than 30 atomic and polyatomic species. SMILE is designed for use on modern supercomputers. Its static and dynamic parallel load balancing algorithms provide high parallelization efficiency. Scalability, portability, and user-friendly interfaces make SMILE a powerful tool even to non-expert users and greatly expand its area of applicability.

SMILE is registered as a software product in Russia and is currently used in a number of research centers, universities, and space agencies in Russia, Europe, and the US, such Rocket and Space Corporation “Energia”, Moscow Physical and Technical University "MFTI", Pennsylvania State University, University of Southern California, Purdue University, Korea Aerospace Research Institute, and others. SMILE has been extensively validated in the past. In recent years, SMILE was extensively used to study high-altitude spacecraft aerothermodynamics, such as the reentry vehicles for the International Space Station and the prospective spacecraft “Clipper”. Earlier, the results of numerical modeling of the “Mir” station aerodynamics were used by RSC “Energia” to determine the scenario of a controlled descent of the station from orbit in March 2001. SMILE was also used for other purposes, such as the analysis of thruster contamination, modeling of rarefied separated flow, computations of flows in micronozzles, etc. To a large extent, those studies have defined the direction of the development of modern high-altitude aerothermodynamics.

Further information is availible upon request from
Yevgeniy A. Bondar, PhD
Head of the Computational Aerodynamics Lab
Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics SB RAS.
Phone: +7 383 330 81 63.