My Batchelor’s Thesis was titled “Comparative study of density-based versus pressure-based solvers for supersonic flow”. The idea of the thesis stemmed from my work at ARIS, where one of the natural questions that arose was which solver would be best for my use case: simulating the aerodynamics of a supersonic sounding rocket. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. P. Jenny of the Insitute for Fluid Dynamics at ETH, I was able to turn this question into a BSc thesis. Here is the abstract:
In this thesis a comparison is made between pressure- and density-based solvers, with the goal of determining which is best suited to simulations of the flight performance of a supersonic sounding rocket. Although there exists plenty of work on each of the two approaches to solving compressible flows, there appears to be little in the way of direct comparison between them.
The theory behind each approach is investigated, as well as its implementation in two solvers from the OpenFOAM v4.0 software package: rhoPimpleFoam and rhoCentralFoam. These two solvers are then also compared in terms of numerical results in two separate test cases: an oblique shock generated by an inclined wedge geometry, and Sod’s shock tube.