Synthetik Awarded Contract from Leidos and the DoD to Extend their CFD Software Code for High-Explosive Detonations

We are delighted to announce the award of a contract from Leidos and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to extend, optimize, test, and validate Synthetik’s high-performance Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solver for high-explosive detonations.

The engineering community needs open, verifiable, validated blast simulation tools.  Currently available tools: 1) are prohibitively expensive to license to run calculations at the scale and number of CPU cores and nodes required to capture key blast phenomena, 2) do not provide access to the underlying code due to concerns over intellectual property rights, 3) use non-universal file formats for pre- and post-processing, and 4) contain export controlled or distribution limited components.  In response to these limitations, Synthetik Applied Technologies leveraged a widely used opensource CFD library as a foundation upon which to develop a new solver suited for high-explosive detonation modeling and simulation.

Synthetik’s solver builds upon the most widely utilized opensource CFD platform available today, and is currently deployed at DoD HPC Centers (e.g., AFRL, ARL, ERDC, Navy, ORS). The code contains multiple utilities to prepare calculations for complex geometries of interest (e.g. engineering-scale; from CAD models), including parallel mesh generation, mesh refinement, advanced post-processing, and import/export functions. Verification and validation studies have been conducted with independent validation (conducted by others) performed on larger-scale problems with complex geometries and published in peer-reviewed journals. The solver can be run on any modern platform (e.g. laptop, workstation, HPC, AWS, GCP, etc.).

 The free SketchUp plugin-in MeshKit (also developed by Synthetik and with an active global community of more than 7,030 users), can also be used as a pre-processor for the blastFOAM code. This plug-in provides a highly intuitive 3D CAD environment to quickly build the computational geometry, set boundary conditions, and export geometry ready for simulation.  Furthermore, by leveraging the free SketchUp platform, the user can work with CAD and BIM models directly, rather than having to completely redraw geometry in a proprietary format with limited tools.

Synthetik is a formal Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) Industry Partner, with access to High- Performance Computing (HPC) resources on systems such as the new NSF-funded petascale computing system, Frontera, which was awarded for deployment at TACC, thus allowing Synthetik to develop and test on state-of-the-art systems at scale.  As of today, we have been running high-explosive detonation simulations on TACC’s STAMPEDE2 HPC.

 About Synthetik Applied Technologies:

Synthetik Applied Technologies LLC is a fast-growing technology start-up that is creating breakthrough technology to mitigate the greatest threats to the world around us, including terrorism, extreme events and global environmental impact.  Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Synthetik is already working with the U.S. Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on highly innovative AI solutions. Synthetik also provides consulting services to the world’s largest insurance companies and maintains their state-of-art data analytics and scientific computing platforms including: cityCORE, blastKit, and a new U.S. Department of Defense-backed CFD solver for high-explosive detonation.   Synthetik is an official partner of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and the Microsoft AI for Earth program.

 If you would like more information about this topic, please call Tim Brewer at (818) 296-8611, or email

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Tim Brewer