The realistic modelling of large environmental systems like the atmosphere and the ocean require very large power High Performance Computing and data storage. Results from such models are nowadays the basis of predicting climate change and natural desasters. Higher resolution is needed to resolve the small scales that currently need subgridscale parametrizations. Ensembles of models can be also run over climate time scales to estimate ensemble statistics and predictive skills.
Similarly important are developments towards Earth System Models, where models of the atmosphere, ocean, land and ice, and vegetation cover are fully coupled. As an example, the treatment of all relevant trace gases and aerosols in weather prediction in the model system COSMO-ART, developed at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) requires about 20-fold CPU time compared to the basic COSMO-model of the German Weather Service (DWD). The Cray Hornet will provide unprecedented capabilities to shift the boundaries of one or more of such limitations.
Simulation is a key technology to enable a turnaround in energy supply from conventional fossil based to sustainable technologies. Simulation can help to optimize existing technologies as well as to develop new technologies. Costly experiments can be avoided, new methods can be tested and the virtual power plant is only a fingertip away once the full potential of simulation can be released in the Petaflops era.
At HLRS optimization of key energy production technologies is a long term activity. The reduction of emissions and the optimization of gas turbines are necessities that can best be achieved through extensive simulation. A further corner stone of the work of HLRS is the simulation of sustainable energy supplies. Water power plants and tidal power plants as well as wind turbines are designed and optimized on systems of HLRS.
In an ageing society it becomes more and more necessary to analyse new methods for the improvement of medical care and therapies during their development. For that reason HLRS and its users are carrying out biomedical simulations in different fields. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to simulate the airflow in the respiratory system with the target of optimizing the delivery of inhaler deployed drugs.
Another application area of CFD is the simulation of blood flow in the human arterial system. One target of these simulations is the principle investigation of the formation of Abdominal Aortic aneurysms and their flow mechanics. An application area of structural biomechanics, which is further on developed and investigated by HLRS and its partners, is the numerical simulation of bone-implant-systems like total hip endoprostheses or intramedullary femur nails in a patient specific way.
Mobility is a key for the quality of life - but the world‘s increasing traffic requires new approaches to achieving sustainable mobility. Through the use of numerical simulation new energy- and resourceefficient mobility concepts can be developed. At the forefront of simulation research are design and interpretation of alternative mobility concepts (e-mobility, fuel cell), new material combinations for hybrid lightweight structures or a smart connectivity with the environment (autonomous driving). The HLRS is working with the asc(s (Automotive Simulation Centre Stuttgart) in order to use futureoriented simulations, which have the purpose of quiet, consumption and resources optimized vehicles with best possible human safety.
The department looks at the ways in which simulation changes science, technological development, and the social handling of uncertainty. The classical experiment uses technology to make nature/reality visible by itself. Computer simulations, by contrast, consist of nothing other than technology. They only do what humans tell them to do.
Nevertheless, scientists, politicians, and society have justifiably high expectations: Simulations have to be a reliable and pretty fast way to develop new technologies and to discover unknown areas with little risk. To fulfill society’s expectations and the needs of political decision makers it is crucial to understand the potentials as well as the limits of computer simulations. Hence, the department investigates the conjunction of simulation, science and society. These challenges can be solved only in an interdisciplinary way.
Acting sustainably is important for securing our future and that of future generations. Therefore, we are committed to sustainability. Our Sustainability Guidelines give us the action frame to protect the environment and to consider social as well as economic interests. We want to set and achieve clearly defined sustainability targets. We intend to establish an open dialogue with our stakeholders and therefore we will regularly publish a sustainability report.