SBIR Phase II: Visualization of Massive Multivariate Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) Data
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project addresses the lack of visualization technology for hierarchical structured grids created through an advanced simulation process known as Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR). Although the AMR structure makes possible simulations that are too computationally expensive using a uniform grid approach, it leaves the scientist with a lack of visualization tools to properly render the resulting volumetric data. With the successful completion of this Phase II effort, Kitware will meet this need by developing visualization tools that are focused on efficiently and effectively rendering the large, multivariate, time-varying data produced using the AMR technique. The primary technical accomplishment of the Phase II effort will be the development of a high performance volume rendering strategy for AMR data that runs across a variety of platforms from a standard desktop system to a large cluster of high-end workstations. Advanced transfer function techniques will aid scientific discovery by allowing scientists to visualize relationships in their data. Packaging these visualization tools into a user-friendly application will make this complex technology accessible to researchers. In addition, Kitware will adapt this technology to the clinical medical visualization market, where large, multivariate, hierarchical data will become commonplace in the near future. The state-of-the-art AMR visualization technology developed during this Phase II project will be donated to the scientific community as part of two open-source packages. This technology will be available to software developers through the Visualization Toolkit (VTK), a C++ class library of visualization, graphics, and image processing algorithms. This technology will also be incorporated into the end-user scientific visualization application ParaView, which can run on a desktop computer or across a high performance cluster. Through the use of extreme programming principles, these open source packages are developed, tested, and released daily, allowing Kitware to deliver the latest technology for immediate use by the scientific community. In return, this provides Kitware with continual feedback from users and developers that will help the firm to improve not only the open source software, also the firm's commercial products that are built on top of this code base. Kitware intends to leverage the Research Opportunities for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Opportunities for Teachers (RET) programs to build a team of students and teachers who will generate educational material from the software including lesson plans, presentation materials, animations, and suggested projects. This material will be distributed to educators at the high school and undergraduate levels.
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