LincoSim: a Web Based HPC-Cloud Platform for Automatic Virtual Towing Tank Analysis

  • F. SalvadoreEmail author
  • R. Ponzini


Thanks to evolving web technologies, computational platforms, automation tools and open-source software business model, today, it is possible to develop powerful automatic and virtualized web services for complex physical problems in engineering and design. In particular, in this work, we are presenting a new web based HPC-cloud platform for automatic virtual towing tank analysis. It is well known that the design project of a new hull requires a continuous integration of shape hypothesis and hydrodynamics verifications using analytical tools, 3D computational methods, experimental facilities and sea keeping trial tests. The complexity and the cost of such design tools increase considerably moving from analytical tools to sea keeping trials. In order to perform a meaningful trade-off between costs and high quality data acquiring, during the last decade the usage of 3D computational models has grown pushed also by well-known technological factors. Nevertheless, in the past, there were several limiting factors on the wide diffusion of 3D computational models to perform virtual towing tank data acquiring. On one hand software licensing and hardware infrastructure costs, on the other hand the need of very specific technological skills limited the usage of such virtualized tools only to research centers and/or to large industrial companies. In this work we propose an innovative high-level approach which is embodied in the so-called LincoSim [17] web application in which a hypothetical designer user can carry out the simulation only starting from its own geometry and a set of meaningful physical parameters. LincoSim automatically manages and hides to the user all the necessary details of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling and of HPC infrastructure usage allowing them to access, visualize and analyze the outputs from the same single access point made up from the web browser. In addition to the web interface, the platform includes a back-end server which implements a Cloud logic and can be connected to multiple HPC machines for computing. LincoSim is currently set up with finite volume Open-FOAM CFD engine. A preliminary validation campaign has been performed to assess the robustness and the reliability of the tool and is proposed as a novel approach for the development of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) applications.


High performance computing Cloud Computational fluid dynamics Naval engineering OpenFOAM Design 


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This work is part of the LINCOLN project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727982. We especially thank Andreas Morch Hildershavn from Inventas for the useful discussions. We are also grateful to Trond Svandal for making available to us the geometry of a hull used for validation.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HPC DepartmentCinecaRomeItaly
  2. 2.HPC DepartmentCinecaMilanItaly

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