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ADL at Stanford University releases SU2 version 2.0

by SU2 development team

Stanford's Aerospace Design Lab (ADL) is releasing the second version of the Stanford University Unstructured (SU2) open-source code on Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013.

  • Both Windows, Mac and Linux versions and the raw source code will be released on Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013.
  • It includes code structure improvements (it is now faster, more accurate and more stable) as well as new capabilities and applications (e.g., plasma analysis, engine effect simulation and unsteady design).
  • SU2 v2.0 is released under an open-source license and can be downloaded from

SU2: Analyze. Optimize. Design!

The suite is a collection of C++ based software tools for performing Partial Differential Equation (PDE) analysis and solving PDE constrained optimization problems. The toolset is designed with aerodynamics in mind, but is extensible to treat arbitrary sets of governing equations. It incorporates everything needed to perform a complete design loop; computing flow and adjoint solutions, obtaining objective function sensitivities, performing shape optimization and even grid adaptation.

Version 2.0 includes improvements in the code structure and also new exciting capabilities. The new code is faster, more accurate and more stable thanks to the implementation and improvement of numerical techniques like agglomeration multigrid, advanced linear solvers and preconditioning techniques (e.g., line implicit and low Mach preconditioning).

The new SU2 allows the user to solve new and important problems such as the simulation of internal flows, incompressible fluids, engine effects, plasma in air or argon, or even unsteady simulation and design using dynamic meshes.

The design capabilities have also been greatly improved with the introduction of a continuous adjoint for Euler and Navier-Stokes flows, a discrete adjoint for Euler flows and new Python scripts used for automation.

SU2: One year on from the first release

The initial version of the code was release on Thursday Jan. 19, 2012. Since then, it has been downloaded over 2,700 times and the main SU2 website ( has received over 22,000 independent visits from across the world, with the most visits coming from users in the USA, China and India.

The code, developed by students in the Aerospace Design Lab (ADL) in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, has been downloaded by users in more than 100 countries. Both academia and industry have demonstrated a great interest in SU2, with registered downloads from companies and research centers such as MIT, NASA, National labs, Boeing and Airbus.

SU2 will also feature in a talk at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Sciences Meeting (ASM) conference held in Dallas, TX, on Jan. 7-10.

SU2: Social Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

As an open-source code project, the growth of active user and developer communities is a crucial goal for SU2. Interaction between developers and users will help improve and adapt the code to the real needs of both academia and industry.

As the code continues to grow, regular modifications and improvements are added, and information about these and news updates are posted on the SU2 homepage (, through Facebook and on Twitter (@SU2code). Alongside the second release, a new forum has also been created on CFD Online ( to help answer questions and interact with users.

Following the release, a workshop will be held at Stanford University on Tuesday Jan. 15, 2013, to introduce the growing community of users and developers to the second full release.

If you would like more information on SU2, please check out or email us at

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