The Center for Simulation of
Advanced Rockets (CSAR) is one of five university-based
Centers of Excellence founded in 1997 and funded by the
U.S. Department of Energy's
Advanced Simulation and
Computing program, whose objective is to enable accurate
prediction of the performance, reliability, and safety of complex
physical systems through computational simulation. CSAR's mission is
to achieve this goal in the specific context of
rockets, which are of vital importance to the space launch industry.
A particular focus for CSAR is on the
reusable solid rocket motor (RSRM) that powers the
The overarching goal of CSAR is integrated, whole-system simulation of
solid propellant rockets under both normal and abnormal operating
conditions. Achieving this goal requires the development of accurate
models of physical components, subscale simulations of materials and
accident scenarios, a software framework to facilitate component
integration, a computational infrastructure to support large-scale
simulations, and extensive research collaborations with government
laboratories and the rocket industry.
Rocket simulation is highly interdisciplinary, involving the ignition
and combustion of
composite solid propellant; the structural dynamics of the
propellant, case, insulation, and nozzle; the fluid dynamics of the
turbulent, reactive, multiphase interior flow and exhaust plume; and
the interactions among all of these. It is especially challenging
because of the fundamentally three-dimensional physics, strong
nonlinear coupling among components, complex and dynamically changing
geometry, complex material properties and physical processes, and
extremely diverse spatial and temporal scales. Moreover, the enormous
computational capacity required for high-resolution simulation of full
burn requires scalability to thousands of processors.
This research is carried out by an interdisciplinary team of approximately
eighty faculty, staff, and students spanning several academic departments.
Administratively, CSAR is part of
Computational Science and Engineering,
an interdisciplinary research and educational program encompassing
fourteen academic departments, whose purpose is to produce students who
are proficient in computing, including numerical computation and the
practical use of advanced computer architectures, as well as in one or
more applied disciplines in science and engineering.