Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Computer Science

Department or School/College

Computer Science

Committee Chair

Jesse Johnson

Commitee Members

Yolanda Reimer, Russell Parsons


Reynolds Number, vector fields, Pathlines, Virtual Reality, computational fluid dynamics, Fire Dynamic Simulator


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Computer Engineering


Effective visualization of unsteady, time-dependent vector fields in a virtual environment is not a trivial task. This is due to the fact that most visualization techniques require the user to have a prior understanding of how the vector field will behave to set the parameters used to create the visualization. In this thesis we will take air flow data from a computational fluid dynamic simulations to calculate the amount of turbulence (represented as Reynolds numbers) to identify regions of interest. We then calculate wind pathlines that will intersect with these points sampled from these regions. We address the issue of optimizing the appropriate number of pathlines relative to the size and resolution of the simulation. We are then able to implement the ability to interact with the simulations using a modern video game engine with virtual reality capabilities. By comparing the results with results that do not involve the turbulence based sampling methods, we conclude that our method provides more detail where detail is demanded.



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