74th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 21, 2021 — November 23, 2021)

V0028: The use of augmented reality (AR) in flow visualization

  • David Paeres, HPC and Visualization Lab., University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
  • Christian Lagares, HPC and Visualization Lab., University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
  • Guillermo Araya, HPC and Visualization Lab., University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/APS.DFD.2021.GFM.V0028

Visualization techniques have substantially evolved in the last few decades, spanning all disciplines. In recent times, Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have revolutionized the way that visualization is carried out. Virtual Reality (VR) consists of a digital recreation of a real-life environment or situation Craig et al. (Developing Virtual Reality Applications, 2009), while Augmented Reality (AR) conveys virtual elements as an overlay to the real world, Craig (Understanding Augmented Reality, 2013). Whereas the virtual reality application fully immerses the user in a 3D virtual world, the AR application will allow the user to remain in the real world, yet have 3D visualizations of iso-surfaces of flow parameters (for instance, fluctuations of velocity and temperature, two-point correlation, etc.). In this video, we are performing AR visualization of fluid flow parameters from existent Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) database.

The design of an AR environment that interacts with the physical world is very similar as designing a VR environment. Because of this, the platform used for the application development is Unity game engine.  While Unity enables the compatibility with most of the virtual objects file types, the USD format is used in this application. The file type USD stores the information in binary format and is part to the family of the USDZ, which is the lastest AR extension created by Apple and Pixar companies. After the DNS data is visualized with Paraview toolkit and the scene is created, a file extension GLTF is exported for final conversion to USD format via the USDpython software.

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