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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W026686/1
Title: Turbulence at the exascale: application to wind energy, green aviation, air quality and net-zero combustion
Principal Investigator: Laizet, Professor S
Other Investigators:
van Reeuwijk, Professor M Chakraborty, Professor N Emerson, Professor D
Magri, Dr L Mudalige, Professor GR Cant, Professor R
Sandham, Professor ND
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Fosters and Partners Intel Corporation Ltd nVIDIA
Renuda UK Siemens UCL
Department: Aeronautics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2021 Ends: 30 November 2025 Value (£): 2,670,328
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Computer Sys. & Architecture Mathematical Analysis
Parallel Computing Software Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Nov 2021 SPF High Priority Use Case Phase 1b Expert Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal brings together communities from the UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC) and the UK Consortium on Reacting Flows (UKCRF) to ensure a smooth transition to exascale computing, with the aim to develop transformative techniques for future-proofing their production simulation software ecosystems dedicated to the study of turbulent flows. Understanding, predicting and controlling turbulent flows is of central importance and a limiting factor to a vast range of industries. Many of the environmental and energy-related issues we face today cannot possibly be tackled without a better understanding of turbulence.

The UK is preparing for the exascale era through the ExCALIBUR programme to develop exascale-ready algorithms and software. Based on the findings from the Design and Development Working Group (DDWG) on turbulence at the exascale, this project is bringing together communities representing two of the seven UK HEC Consortia, the UKTC and the UKCTRF, to re-engineer or extend the capabilities of four of their production and research flow solvers for exascale computing: XCOMPACT3D, OPENSBLI, UDALES and SENGA+. These open-source, well-established, community flow solvers are based on finite-difference methods on structured meshes and will be developed to meet the challenges associated with exascale computing while taking advantage of the significant opportunities afforded by exascale systems.

A key aim of this project is to leverage the well-established Domain Specific Language (DLS) framework OPS and the 2DECOMP&FFT library to allow XCOMPACT3D, OPENSBLI, UDALES and SENGA+ to run on large-scale heterogeneous computers. OPS was developed in the UK in the last ten years and it targets applications on multi-block structured meshes. It can currently generate code using CUDA, OPENACC/OPENMP5.0, OPENCL, SYCL/ONEAPI, HIP and their combinations with MPI. The OPS DSLs' capabilities will be extended in this project, specifically its code-generation tool-chain for robust, fail-safe parallel code generation. A related strand of work will use the 2DECOMP&FFT a Fortran-based library based on a 2D domain decomposition for spatially implicit numerical algorithms on monobloc structured meshes. The library includes a highly scalable and efficient interface to perform Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) and relies on MPI providing a user-friendly programming interface that hides communication details from application developers. 2DECOMP&FFT will be completely redesigned for a use on heterogeneous supercomputers (CPUs and GPUS from different vendors) using a hybrid strategy.

The project will also combine exascale-ready coupling interfaces, UQ capabilities, I/O & visualisation tools to our flow solvers, as well as machine learning based algorithms, to address some of the key challenges and opportunities identified by the DDWG on turbulence at the exascale. This will be done in collaboration with several of the recently funded ExCALIBUR cross-cutting projects.

The project will focus on four high-priority use cases (one for each solver), defined as high quality, high impact research made possible by a step-change in simulation performance. The use cases will focus on wind energy, green aviation, air quality and net-zero combustion. Exascale computing will be a game changer in these areas and will contribute to make the UK a greener nation (The UK commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2050). The use cases will be used to demonstrate the potential of the re-designed flow solvers based on OPS and 2DECOMP&FFT, for a wide range of hardware and parallel paradigms.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk