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High Fidelity Large Eddy Simulation

At the Aerospace Computing Laboratory we believe that high-order numerical schemes have the potential to advance CFD beyond the current plateau of second-order methods and RANS turbulence modeling, ushering in new levels of accuracy and computational efficiency in turbulent flow simulations. HiFiLES (High Fidelity Large Eddy Simulation) is released as a freely available tool to unify the research community, promoting the advancement and wider adoption of high-order methods. The code is designed as an ideal base for further development on a variety of architectures.

HiFiLES Developers Version 0.1 Release Notes

High-order numerical methods for flow simulations capture complex phenomena like vortices and separation regions using fewer degrees of freedom than their low-order counterparts. The High Fidelity (HiFi) provided by the schemes, combined with turbulence models for small scales and wall interactions, gives rise to a powerful Large Eddy Simulation (LES) software package. HiFiLES is an open-source, high-order, compressible flow solver for unstructured grids built from the ground up to take full advantage of parallel computing architectures. It is specially well-suited for Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) architectures. HiFiLES is written in C++. The code uses the MPI protocol to run on multiple processors, and CUDA to harness GPU performance.

HiFiLES Dev. Ver. 0.1 contains the following capabilities:

  • High-order compressible Navier-Stokes and Euler equations solver in 2D and 3D with support for triangular, quadratic, hexahedral, prismatic, and tetrahedral elements. Implementation for spatial orders of accuracy 2 through 4 have been verified.
  • Numerical scheme: Energy-Stable Flux Reconstruction.
  • Time advancement: explicit time-stepping with low-storage RK45 method (4th order) or forward Euler (1st order). Local time-stepping when running on CPUs.
  • Boundary conditions: Wall: no-slip isothermal, no-slip adiabatic, and symmetry (slip wall). Inflow and outflow: characteristic, supersonic, subsonic. Periodic.
  • High-order surface representation.
  • Mesh format compatibility: neutral (.neu) and Gmsh (.msh).
  • Large Eddy Simulation: Sub-grid Scale Models: Smagorinsky, WALE, similarity, and combinations of these. Wall models: log-law, three-layer Breuer-Rodi.
  • Parallelization: MPI, and GPU (strong scalability 88% of ideal for up to 16 GPUs; weak scalability above 90% of ideal for up to 16 GPUs)

Download HiFiLES Developers Version 0.1

To access to the download information, we ask you to please register HERE. Registration lets us know who is using our code and informs our decisions as we continue to develop the capabilities. We will never share your information with anybody.

HiFiLES is under active development in the Aerospace Computing Laboratory (ACL) in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University and has been released under an open-source license (GNU GPL v3.0). If you find a bug in HiFiLES or would like to submit a feature request, please email the development team at or use the issue tracker on the HiFiLES GitHub page at

If you are using HiFiLES, please support us by referencing the following paper: M. López-Morales, A. Sheshadri, J. Bull, J. Crabill, T. D. Economon, D. E. Manosalvas, J. Romero, J. E. Watkins, D. Williams, F. Palacios, and A. Jameson, “Verification and Validation of HiFiLES: a High-Order LES unstructured solver on multi-GPU platforms,” AIAA Paper 2014-3168.