A type and accompanying methods for vortex filaments in Julia.
Author diederikb
0 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
May 2021


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This package provides tools to create and plot vortex filaments and to compute the velocity they induce in three dimensions with support for infinite and semi-infinite vortex filaments.

VortexFilaments.jl is registered in the general Julia registry. To install, type e.g.,

] add VortexFilaments

Then, in any version, type

using VortexFilaments

The package introduces the VortexFilament type, which represents a vortex filament that is discretized with vertices and segments connecting those vertices. A vortex filament can be created by calling the provided constructor,

vertices = [[0.0,0.0,0.0], [0.0,1.0,0.0], [1.0,1.0,0.0], [1.0,0.0,0.0]]
Γ = 1.0 # strength of the vortex filament
vf = VortexFilament(Γ,vertices)

which can then be plotted with the provided type recipe.



The velocity that the vortex filament vf induces at a location x can be computed using as inducevelocity(vf,x), which returns a 3-element vector representing the velocity vector.

x = [0.5,0.5,0.5]

If you don't want the filament to be closed, provide the constructor with the keyword isclosed=false.

vf = VortexFilament(Γ,vertices,isclosed=false)


The vortex filament can also be an infinite vortex filament or a semi-infinite vortex element. If you want to plot these filaments, you have to provide the plot axis limits for the direction in which the vortex filament extends to infinity.

vertices = [[-Inf,0.0,0.0], [Inf,0.0,0.0]]
Γ = 1.0 # strength of the vortex filament
vf = VortexFilament(Γ,vertices) # infinite vortex filament


vertices = [[0,0.0,0.0], [Inf,0.0,0.0]]
Γ = 1.0 # strength of the vortex filament
vf = VortexFilament(Γ,vertices) # semi-infinite vortex filament


These filaments also work with the inducevelocity method. This provides the possibility to model a horseshoe vortex.

b = 1
Γ = 1.0 # sign depends on the order of the vertices
v1 = [Inf,-b/2,0]
v2 = [0,-b/2,0]
v3 = [0,b/2,0]
v4 = [Inf,b/2,0]
vf = VortexFilament(Γ,[v1,v2,v3,v4])
yrange1 = range(-b/2,b/2,length=20)
xevals = [[0.0,y,0.0] for y in yrange1[2:end-1]];
w = inducevelocity.(Ref(vf),xevals);

We will compare the induced velocity with the formula for the downwash for a horseshoe vortex.

yrange2 = range(-b/2,b/2,length=100)
downwash(Γ,b,y) = -Γ/(4π)*b/((b/2)^2-y^2);
wvec = [[xevals[i],xevals[i]+w[i]] for i in 1:length(w)];
p = plot(vf,xlims=[-1,4],ylims=[-0.6*b,0.6*b],label=false)
for i in 1:length(wvec)
plot3d!(zeros(length(yrange2)),yrange2,downwash.(1.0,b,yrange2),label="downwash formula")


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