A virtual test facility for the Simulation of Dynamic Response in Materials

J. Cummings*, M. Aivazis, R. Samtaney, R. Radovitzky, S. Mauch, D. Meiron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Center for Simulating Dynamic Response of Materials at the California Institute of Technology is constructing a virtual shock physics facility for studying the response of various target materials to very strong shocks. The Virtual Test Facility (VTF) is an end-to-end, fully three-dimensional simulation of the detonation of high explosives (HE), shock wave propagation, solid material response to pressure loading, and compressible turbulence. The VTF largely consists of a parallel fluid solver and a parallel solid mechanics package that are coupled together by the exchange of boundary data. The Eulerian fluid code and Lagrangian solid mechanics model interact via a novel approach based on level sets. The two main computational packages are integrated through the use of Pyre, a problem solving environment written in the Python scripting language. Pyre allows application developers to interchange various computational models and solver packages without recompiling code, and it provides standardized access to several data visualization engines and data input mechanisms. In this paper, we outline the main components of the VTF, discuss their integration via Pyre, and describe some recent accomplishments in large-scale simulation using the VTF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Supercomputing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Parallel computing
  • Shock physics simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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