OnScale and Lexma’s Moebius—Helping to Create Innovative Life-Saving Technologies

Updated on November 15, 2020
Christopher Cussat

By Christopher Cussat

OnScale, Inc., the global leader in Cloud Engineering Simulation, recently announced the availability of the Moebius Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solver on the OnScale Cloud Engineering Simulation platform. Robert Roseberg’s article, “OnScale and Lexma Launch Moebius LBM CFD Solver for Advanced Fluid Dynamics Simulations,” publicly released information about this last month and the collaborative partnership between OnScale and Lexma Technology.

OnScale is the first and only Cloud Engineering Simulation platform which combines powerful multiphysics solver technology with the limitless compute power of cloud supercomputers. With OnScale, engineers can run massive numbers of full 3D multiphysics simulations in parallel to create true Digital Prototypes—digital representations of physical high-tech devices that capture the complete behavior of a device over its operating envelope. By shifting expensive and time-consuming physical prototyping to digital prototyping, OnScale massively reduces cost, risk, and time-to-market for R&D firms pushing the boundaries of new technology. 

According to Valerio Marra, PhD, VP of Sales and Marketing for OnScale, “Moebius running on the massively scalable OnScale Cloud Engineering Simulation platform will break barriers to innovation for a variety of applications such as lab-on-a-chip, MEMS, and medical diagnostic and treatment devices like next-generation ventilators and respirators.”

Moebius also represents a step-change in CFD speed, power, and democratization for digital prototyping of devices involving fluid flows,” says David Freed, CTO of OnScale and a Digital Physicist with a 25 year track record of advancing LBM CFD technology at MIT, Exa Corporation, and Dassault Systѐmes.

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Airflow simulation in a UV sterilization chamber of an iPAP ventilator for COVID-19 patients.

Unlike Navier-Stokes CFD methods which simulate bulk fluid flow, LBM takes a kinetic theory approach to simulating fluid flows, which enables the simulation of complex biomedical and engineering problems, including multiphase flows (e.g. simulating control and management of multi-species droplets in microfluidic devices), particle transport (e.g. simulating sorting of blood and cancer tumor cells), and fluid-structure interaction (e.g. simulating efficient micro-scale actuators in MEMS applications). The resulting simulations provide unique insight and design guidance for engineers advancing new technologies.

“Integrating Moebius with the OnScale Cloud Engineering Simulation platform allows our team to focus on our mission—creating the world’s best LBM CFD solutions while leveraging OnScale’s cloud supercomputer scalability and SimAPI for CAD import, model setup, data management, and viewing simulation results,” says Franck Pérot, CEO of Lexma Technology. “We also get OnScale’s account management, billing, customer support, and marketing and sales automation features built in.”

Lexma Technology was founded to solve all types of complex flow-based problems—including designing medical devices, modeling of drug delivery and physiological processes, medical treatment planning, digital twins of biological systems and many more applications. Lexma formed an exclusive partnership with OnScale in 2020 to launch Moebius LBM CFD.

In his release, Roseberg additionally covers how digital prototyping helps empower engineers to advance the design of medical devices fighting COVID-19 in low-income countries. “With Moebius running on OnScale, we were able to optimize the design of our Intelligent Positive Air Pressure (iPAP) machine with UV disinfecting chamber,” says Shashi Buluswar, CEO of the Institute for Transformative Technology (ITT). “Using OnScale and Moebius to create Digital Prototypes of our device dramatically shortened our physical prototyping cost and time and allowed us to accelerate our goal of delivering critical iPAP devices to low-income countries to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A critical design and engineering aspect of the iPAP device is the UV disinfecting chamber, which is intended to disinfect up to 99.9% of the air exhaled from a COVID-19 patient’s lungs. The ITT team needed to minimize size, cost, and heat generated by the chamber while maximizing the amount of time air spends in it. The team used Moebius running on OnScale to simulate many “Digital Prototypes” of the disinfecting chamber and process until converging on a winning, manufacturable design.

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Left to right: Simulation iterations from a suboptimal design to an optimized configuration of the iPAP UV sterilizer chamber.

ITT is one of the world’s leading technology-for-development organizations, working on a range of technologies critical to health, food security, water, and energy access. Its most recent accomplishment is a partnership with India’s Tata Power which launched the world’s largest electricity access initiative to supply power to 25 million people in India’s poorest villages.

These are just a few examples of how combining the power of the Moebius solver with the massive scalability of OnScale in the cloud enables both huge simulations and parallel execution of large numbers of simulations on cloud supercomputers. “With this initiative we hope to inspire other businesses in supporting the well-being of everyone in our community during this stressful time,” concluded Marra.

You can read more of Christopher’s work at www.cussat.com.

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