As the computational power of computers increases the application of high-end numerical methods continues to allow ever greater insight into the complex flow physics of modern turbomachines and therefore the design of ever more efficient and powerful turbomachinery components.
Since the early 1990’s the Numerical Methods department at DLR’s Institute of Propulsion Technology has been working on the CFD code TRACE (Turbomachinery Research Aerodynamic Computational Environment) in order to calculate and investigate the complex flows in turbomachinery. Within DLR, TRACE is the standard method for the simulation of internal flows. Outside of DLR, at universities and other research institutes, TRACE is used for the scientific analysis of turbomachinery flows. In addition, at MTU Aero Engines and Siemens Energy, TRACE is employed in industrial design environments for the design and optimization of turbomachinery components.
The future development of the program system TRACE is based on three pillars: software engineering, mathematical models and physical modeling. The aim is to develop a simulation and research tool specifically for the challenges particular to turbomachines and identify the modules needed to ensure high quality, trustworthy results. To achieve these goals special focus is being placed on the areas of aeroelasticity, aeroacoustics, aero-thermodynamics, turbulence and the usage of next generation computer architectures.
The core tasks of the department are: