fvOptions acousticDampingSource

For accurate computational aeroacoustics (CAA) simulations, we have to prevent the acoustic waves from reflecting on the truncated boundary of the computational domain so that the reflected waves will not contaminate the acoustic field by wave interference.

A variety of numerical techniques have been developed for this purpose. In this blog post, I will try to give a description of one of these methods, namely the artificial damping (dissipation) method.

General Description

This damping method is briefly described in [1].


In this method, an absorbing zone is created and appended to the physical computational domain in which the governing equations are modified to mimic a physical dissipation mechanism (Israeli and Orszag 1981).

For the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations, the artificial damping term can easily be introduced into the governing equations as follows:

\frac{\partial \boldsymbol{u}}{\partial t} = L(\boldsymbol{u})\; – \nu(\boldsymbol{u} – \boldsymbol{u}_0), \tag{5.155} \label{eq:damping}

where \(\boldsymbol{u}\) is the solution vector and \(L(\boldsymbol{u})\) denotes the spatial operators of the equations. The damping coefficient \(\nu\) assumes a positive value and should be increased slowly inside the zone. Here, \(\boldsymbol{u}_0\) is the time-independent mean value in the absorbing zone (Freund 1997). Kosloff and Kosloff (1986) analyzed a system similar to Equation \eqref{eq:damping} for the two-dimensional wave equation in which, in particular, a reflection coefficient of a multilayer absorbing zone was calculated.

The role of the artificial damping term is to diminish the strength of the waves in the absorbing zone before they reach the truncated boundary and to minimize the reflecting effect.


Settings of acousticDampingSource

In OpenFOAM v1606+, this artificial damping method is available as the newly implemented fvOption acousticDampingSource [2]. Its settings are described in the system/fvOptions file.

  • timeStart: [Optional] Start time
  • duration: [Optional] Duration time
  • selectionMode: [Required] Domain where the source is applied (all/cellSet/cellZone/points)
  • centre: [Required] Sphere centre location of damping
  • radius1: [Required] Inner radius at which to start damping
  • radius2: [Required] Outer radius beyond which full damping is applied
  • frequency: [Required] Frequency [Hz]
  • w: [Optional] Stencil width (default = 20)
  • Uref: [Required] Name of reference velocity field

The strength of damping is gradually increased from radius1 to radius2 and full damping is applied in the region where \(r >\) radius2. The maximum value of damping coefficient is defined as follows:

\nu_{max} = w \times frequency. \tag{1} \label{eq:maxnu}


This function is only applicable for the momentum equation by default, so it needs source modifications so that it can be used in the mass and energy conservation equations as well.

An Example in 1D (Plane Wave)

Sound waves are longitudinal waves but I intentionally visualize them like the transverse waves in order to make the damping effect more visible in the following video. The damping is activated at time = 0.004s.

An Example in 2D (Cylindrical Wave)

Sound waves are longitudinal waves but I intentionally visualize them like the transverse waves in order to make the damping effect more visible in the following video. The damping is activated at time = 0.004s.

The amplitude gets smaller as they propagate from a sound source in contrast to the plane waves (cylindrical spreading).

Aeolian Tone (Under Calculation)


Source Code

The damping source terms added to the incompressible and compressible momentum equations are calculated by Eq. \eqref{eq:damping} in addSup function.

The profile of damping coefficient in the radial direction is calculated by the trigonometric (cosine) function in setBlendingFactor helper function.

  • [1] Claus Albrecht Wagner et al., Large-Eddy Simulation for Acoustics (Cambridge Aerospace Series)
  • [2] OpenFOAM® v1606+: New Solvers. Available at: http://www.openfoam.com/version-v1606+/solvers-and-physics.php [Accessed: 18 September 2016].

Author: fumiya

CFD engineer in Japan

1 thought on “fvOptions acousticDampingSource”

  1. Dear Fumiya,
    I am Vincenzo Sammartano, a Research Fellow of Reggio Calabria University, Italy.
    The research I am going to face is about the analysis of hydrodynamic forces on off-shore structures.
    These days I am struggling with the implementation of a damping region close to outlet section of my test channel in order to reduce the reflection of the waves generated at the inlet section. The 2D domain is quite simple: it is a 2D prismatic channel with an inlet and outlet sections, a bottom surface and an open upper surface. I am writing to you because you implemented a similar problem, obviously applied to the acoustic field. I would be very grateful if you could send me the addSup and setBlendingFactor functions source code, so I can work around this functions to implement a damping region into my fluid domain. Thank you in advance.
    Best regards,

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