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User's Guide for Smokeview Version 1.0: A Tool for Visualizing Fire Dynamics Simulation Data (NISTIR 6513)



Glenn P. Forney, Kevin B. McGrattan


Smokeview is a software tool designed to visualize numerical predictions generated by the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS). FDS is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of fire-driven fluid flow. These two tools are used in concert to respectively model and analyze scenarios involving features such as fire, wind, sprinklers, complex geometry etc. Smokeview visualizes FDS modeling results in many ways, some of which are 1) animating flow of smoke or tracer particles, 2) animating 2D contours of data slices, 3) plotting 2D and 3D static contours or 4) plotting flow vectors. Smokeview requires a fast CPU, fast video card, a substantial amount of random-access memory (RAM) and a large hard disk. Smokeview is portable and can be run on a variety of computing platforms. For a Windows-based PC, the processor should be at least a 450 MHz Pentium II, with at least 256 Mbytes of memory. Of course, more is better, but this configuration should allow one to do fairly large calculations in a reasonable time period. For UNIX-based workstations, the processor and memory should be at least as fast and as large as the PC specs. Smokeview and FDS may be obtained at the web site or by contacting the authors at glenn.forney [at] (glenn[dot]forney[at]nist[dot]gov) or kevin.mcgrattan [at] (kevin[dot]mcgrattan[at]nist[dot]gov).
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6513
Report Number


field models, predictive models, CFD models, computational fluid dynamics, fire simulation, fluid flow, scientific visualization, simulation, visualization, fluid dynamics simulator


Forney, G. and McGrattan, K. (2000), User's Guide for Smokeview Version 1.0: A Tool for Visualizing Fire Dynamics Simulation Data (NISTIR 6513), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created May 1, 2000, Updated November 10, 2018