The Visualization Research Group at NETL focuses on developing leading edge software and systems to help fossil energy researchers better understand their data using advanced visualization technologies. Primary efforts include visualizing computational fluid dynamics results, advanced power systems, and geographic information.
The visualization capabilities at NETL include a 12-panel tiled LCD display, a large 3D immersive display, and a portable 3D immersive display.
12-Panel Tiled LCD Display
The 12-panel tiled LCD display provides the user with a means of visualizing data in superb visual detail. The display has an aggregate pixel count of nearly 16 million pixels. The system consists of 12 17-inch LCD monitors arranged in a 3 x 4 array. The system is driven by seven computers: one used by the operator and six used to drive the video to the monitors.
Large 3D Immersive Display
This display system is designed for multiple users to view scientific data in a 3D immersive environment. The three screens are each 8-feet wide and 6-feet high and made of a material that is designed for passive stereo projection. Between the projectors and the screens are circular polarizing filters. The filters, along with polarizing glasses worn by the viewer, provide the 3D effect. Seven computers are used to operate the system, the same number as used to drive the 12-panel LCD display.
Portable 3D Immersive Display
The portable 3D immersive display is a smaller, portable version of the three wall system and is primarily used to demonstrate visualization capabilities at conferences. The system consists of a passive stereo screen that is six-feet wide and four-feet high. The screen and frame are lightweight and can be assembled in a matter of minutes. Linear polarizing filters are mounted between the screen and the projectors, which, along with polarizing glasses worn by the viewer, provide the 3D effect. Two notebook computers operate the system.
The primary scientific visualization software applications used are ParaView and Ensight. 3D Studio is used for creating 3D geometry. Chromium is used to distribute the graphics across the multi-screen displays. VTK and OpenSceneGraph are used when creating specialized visualization software. Custom in-house software is written when a data format needs to be modified or to simplify the visualization process.
NETL's Visualization Lab has a dedicated team to assist scientists in their visualization needs. Support can range from writing custom reader modules for visualization applications to helping users operate one of the display systems in the lab.
Group Members & Contact Information: