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HiSA Solver for OpenFOAM


The High-speed aerodynamic (HiSA) solver is an open-source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code based on the popular OpenFOAM open-source CFD toolkit. It is complementary to the solvers available in OpenFOAM as it is based around a coupled, density-based algorithm traditionally employed in aerospace applications in contrast to the segregated, pressure-based solvers better suited to low-speed flow. HiSA can be applied to solve fluid flows in the range of Mach numbers from approximately 0.3 to 5, and it is primarily intended for application to external aerodynamics in the transonic and supersonic regimes.

Features include:

  • AUSM+up and HLLC shock capturing schemes
  • Non-reflective characteristic-based boundaries
  • Support for moving meshes (with AUSM+up)
  • Quadratic modal solid modelling
  • 6DoF solid body motion
  • Adaptive mesh refinement for shocks
  • Multi-region solution with CHT

Mesh generation

HiSA should work with any structured, cut-cell cartesian or polyhedral mesh. OpenFOAM can generate structured meshes using the blockMesh tool, and unstructured meshes using snappyHexMesh. Support for boundary layers is limited in snappyHexMesh, and the open-source code cfMesh offers an improved option. A version of cfMesh which is updated for the latest versions of OpenFOAM and contains some enhancements such as support for adaptive mesh refinement, is distributed alongside HiSA. Finally, OpenFOAM includes converters from several popular mesh formats, allowing commercial third-party meshing tools to be used if desired. Some examples are contained in the tutorial cases for HiSA.


The CHPC provides computing resources to run a validation test suite with every release of the code. This consists of a collection of standard test cases, with validation results available on the HiSA website. Although HiSA can be built with both the OpenFOAM Foundation and OpenCFD forks of the code, at present the validation script is only run with the OpenCFD (vXXXX) versions. The tutorial examples may also need minor modifications to run in the Foundation version due to some differences in input formats.

Getting started

First, users need to be familiar with the OpenFOAM environment to understand the case setup for HiSA. Documentation is available on the OpenCFD and CFD Direct websites.

Documentation for HiSA describing its unique settings and boundary conditions can be found on the website. The tutorials in the code repository are usually the best place to start setting up a case, by copying and modifying a similar case.

Another way to get started quickly is to use the CfdOF GUI to set up cases using a graphical front-end. The case setups written by it can be uploaded and run on the CHPC in the same way as a manually set-up case.

The code for HiSA can be downloaded and installed on your local machine as described on the HiSA website. It can also be transferred to your home directory on CHPC and compiled by following the directions for compiling your own OpenFOAM code. HiSA should now be ready to run on CHPC, and it is a good idea to test one of the supplied tutorial cases in the tutorials subdirectory of the HiSA repository, to ensure that all is working.


This offering is not approved or endorsed by OpenCFD Limited, producer and distributor of the OpenFOAM software via, and owner of the OPENFOAM® and OpenCFD® trade marks.

/app/dokuwiki/data/pages/howto/openfoam/hisa.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/09 16:42 (external edit)