Finite pointset method for the simulation of a vehicle travelling through a body of water
In order to shorten design cycles and reduce the cost of development in the automotive industry, simulation tools are widely used for analysis and testing throughout the vehicle development process. The Finite Pointset Method (FPM) has been applied to predict numerically the fluid motion as a vehicle travels through a body of water. FPM is a purely meshfree approach based on a generalized finite difference formulation. It discretises the flow field over a cloud of zero-dimensional, numerical points using least squares operators, and is therefore particularly suitable for flows with free surfaces. FPM has already successfully been applied to various industrial problems with significant transient surface deformation, including airbag deployment, glass formation, filling and sloshing processes. Ensuring the ability of a vehicle to travel through a body of water without being damaged is necessary in markets where monsoon rain occurs or where off-road driving is important. The development of the process to use FPM as a simulation tool for water travel was carried out in two stages: a two-phase water/air simulation of an operating air intake over a basin of water, and a single phase simulation with a moving vehicle.