Nektar++: enhancing the capability and application of high-fidelity spectral/hp element methods

by   David Moxey, et al.

Nektar++ is an open-source framework that provides a flexible, high-performance and scalable platform for the development of solvers for partial differential equations using the high-order spectral/hp element method. In particular, Nektar++ aims to overcome the complex implementation challenges that are often associated with high-order methods, thereby allowing them to be more readily used in a wide range of application areas. In this paper, we present the algorithmic, implementation and application developments associated with our Nektar++ version 5.0 release. We describe some of the key software and performance developments, including our strategies on parallel I/O, on in situ processing, the use of collective operations for exploiting current and emerging hardware, and interfaces to enable multi-solver coupling. Furthermore, we provide details on a newly developed Python interface that enables a more rapid introduction for new users unfamiliar with spectral/hp element methods, C++ and/or Nektar++. This release also incorporates a number of numerical method developments - in particular: the method of moving frames, which provides an additional approach for the simulation of equations on embedded curvilinear manifolds and domains; a means of handling spatially variable polynomial order; and a novel technique for quasi-3D simulations to permit spatially-varying perturbations to the geometry in the homogeneous direction. Finally, we demonstrate the new application-level features provided in this release, namely: a facility for generating high-order curvilinear meshes called NekMesh; a novel new AcousticSolver for aeroacoustic problems; our development of a 'thick' strip model for the modelling of fluid-structure interaction problems in the context of vortex-induced vibrations. We conclude by commenting some directions for future code development and expansion.


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