Movie of startup flow past an airfoil at Re=100, M=0.3, Pr=0.72 (165kbytes).
This movie shows the vorticity contours and streamlines of a startup problem. The simulation domain is broken into 375 elements and each element is discretized with a 6th order poynomial expansion in each direction, resulting in 18375 dof.
Spectral element methods share the common fundations and compatitive advantages of h-type finite element methods and p-type spectral methods. We divide the flow domain into macro-elements, and we discretize every element with Nth order eigen function expansion in each direction. In spectral element method convergence to the desired solution is obtained by either changing the number of macro-elements or by increasing the order of poynomial expansion with in each element. It is the second method which results in exponentially fast convergence. One other advantage of using high-order methods is that numerical diffusion and dispersion errors are relatively smaller than low order methods.
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