Research Directorate Logo

Hypersonic Airbreathing Propulsion Branch
Hypersonic Airbreathing Propulsion Branch

VULCAN-CFD: Roman God of the ForgeVULCAN-CFD, named after the Roman god of fire, is a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software package (available for serial and parallel computational platforms) for turbulent reacting and non-reacting flows at conditions ranging from subsonic to hypersonic speeds. The software can handle either structured multi-block meshes, or fully unstructured meshes. The computational cost of the flow analysis is reduced through the use of special turbulent wall treatments, multi-grid methods (for structured grids), and conditioning of the governing equations to reduce numerical stiffness. VULCAN-CFD also has space-marching capabilities for supersonic portions of the flowfield that can accommodate this solution methodology. The software provides a significant level of geometric flexibility for structured grid simulations by allowing for arbitrary face-to-face C(0) continuous and non-C(0) continuous block interface connectivities. The unstructured grid paradigm allows for mixed element unstructured meshes that contain any combination of tetrahedral, prismatic, pyramid, and hexahedral cell elements. A variety of PDE-based turbulence models are available (including explicit algebraic Reynolds stress models) for Reynolds-averaged simulations, one-equation and algebraic sub-grid closures (including dynamic variants) are available for Large-eddy simulations, and hybrid Reynolds-Averaged / Large Eddy simulation capabilities are also available. A variety of robust upwind-biased algorithms can be chosen for Reynolds-averaged simulations, while a low-dissipation numerical framework is available for scale-resolving simulations. VULCAN-CFD also utilizes a flexible thermodynamic and kinetic model specification framework based on user-specified databases (many of them are standard formats utilized by the propulsion community). The working fluid can be simulated as a calorically perfect single component gas, a mixture of thermally perfect gases (with or without chemical reactions), or a mixture of gases in thermodynamic non-equilibrium (with or without chemical reactions).

For a detailed description of the current capabilities of VULCAN-CFD see the VULCAN-CFD USER MANUAL

Home Page Documentation Applications Publications Software Request


NASA Official Responsible For Content: Robert A. Baurle

This site's most recent update took place: 11/03/2022

Site Curator: Robert A. Baurle (

Privacy Policy and Important Notices Copyright Notice