Talk pyPLUTO : A data visualisation software for Astrophysical simulations


Recent improvements in the observational techniques of outer space has
taken the field of Astronomy to a new horizon. These techniques have
resulted in detailed structure of astrophysical objects with impecable
resolution. To interpret these observations physically, it is
imperative to carry out high resolution numerical studies. A large pool of
numerical codes exists in the community that can be utilized to
understand the physical picture painted by these observations.
Most of these astrophysical phenomena are complex and involve an
interplay of myriad physical processes, thereby a multi-physical code
is required that could incorporate these processes. The need for
increased resolution along with multi-physical nature of simulation
renders them to be computationally expensive and results into large data files.
It is therefore optimal to read these data files
while the simulations are still in progress. This keeps the user
up-to-date with the progress of the simulation run and allows to modify
the same if required. An ideal approach to do such quick check of large data files during
the simulation run is through an user-friendly interface.

In this talk, I will describe an open-source code : pyPLUTO [1] which has
been designed for visualisation of data obtained from PLUTO code
[2]. PLUTO is a mutli-physical modular code written in C that solves
standard fluid dynamical equations in 1D, 2D and 3D using Godunov methods. The
visualisation tools provided with the code are mainly based on a
commercial software IDL [3].
pyPLUTO uses standard Scipy and Numpy libraries to convert the
binary data files into arrays that can be visualized using standard
plotting techniques via matplotlib. Furthermore, a GUI has been
developed which can provide an user-friendly environment for
visualisation. This GUI uses widgets from Python's Tkinter
toolkit. In this talk, I will also describe salient features of this
GUI along with some illustrations.

Thought the source code is mainly developed for analyzing PLUTO code
data, the GUI is rather more general. Thus, can easily be adopted to other
numerical codes with slight modifications, thereby giving this project a more
wider scope for visualisation of astrophysical data.



[2] Mignone, A. et al, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series,
2007, Volume 170, Issue 1.


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