Interactive Exploration of Physically-Observable Objective Vortices in Unsteady 2D Flow

Xingdi Zhang, Markus Hadwiger, Thomas Theul, Peter Rautek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


State-of-the-art computation and visualization of vortices in unsteady fluid flow employ objective vortex criteria, which makes them independent of reference frames or observers. However, objectivity by itself, although crucial, is not sufficient to guarantee that one can identify physically-realizable observers that would perceive or detect the same vortices. Moreover, a significant challenge is that a single reference frame is often not sufficient to accurately observe multiple vortices that follow different motions. This paper presents a novel framework for the exploration and use of an interactively-chosen set of observers, of the resulting relative velocity fields, and of objective vortex structures. We show that our approach facilitates the objective detection and visualization of vortices relative to well-adapted reference frame motions, while at the same time guaranteeing that these observers are in fact physically realizable. In order to represent and manipulate observers efficiently, we make use of the low-dimensional vector space structure of the Lie algebra of physically-realizable observer motions. We illustrate that our framework facilitates the efficient choice and guided exploration of objective vortices in unsteady 2D flow, on planar as well as on spherical domains, using well-adapted reference frames.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
StatePublished - 2021


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