Numerical Methods


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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:

  • The development and application of high-fidelity simulation methods for all major components of aero-engines and fossil power plants.
  • The development of novel methods not currently available in commercial solvers (linear and non-linear frequency domain methods, an adjoint solver, 3D non-reflecting boundary conditions, integration with powerful optimization procedures)
  • The continuous development for massively parallel applications and future processor architectures
  • Focus primarily on unsteady turbomachinery aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, aeroacoustics, turbulence and transition modeling for multistage applications.
  • The development of extensions for combustion modeling (2- phase flows, real gas effects, etc.), second order turbulence models (RSM), higher order discretization methods, and CAD-based preprocessing

Dr.-Ing. Edmund Kügeler
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Propulsion Technology
, Numerische Methoden
Tel: +49 2203 601-3248

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