Computational simulation of physical and chemical processes has become an essential tool to tackle questions from the field of fluid dynamics.
Using current simulation packages it is possible to compute unsteady flow simulations for realistic scenarios. The resulting solutions are stored in large to very large grids in 2D or 3D, frequently time-dependent, with multi-variate results from the numeric simulation.
With increasing complexity of simulation results, powerful analysis and visualization tools are needed to make sense of the computed information and answer the question at hand. To do this we need new approaches and algorithms to locate regions of interest, find important structures in the flow and analyze the behavior of the flow interactively.
The main motives of this thesis are the extension of vortex detection criteria to unsteady flow and the combination of vortex detectors with interactive visual analysis.
To develop an understanding for the simulation results it is necessary to compare attributes of the simulation to each other and to be able to relate them to larger structures such as vortices. It is shown how automatic feature detection algorithms can be combined with interactive analysis techniques such that both detection and analysis benefit.
%A flexible approach that allows to take discuss ho w analysis can take additional flow attributes into account.
By extending and integrating vortex detectors into the process of visual analysis, it becomes possible to understand the impact of vortex structures on the development of the flow. Using real-world examples from the field of engine design we discuss how vortex structures can have critical impact on the performance of a prototype. We illustrate how interactive visual analysis can support prototype design and evaluation.
Furthermore, we show that taking the unsteady nature of the flow into account improves the quality of the extracted structures.