Simulation of unsteady fluid behaviour with arbitrary boundary motion or topological change remains restricted owing to mesh deformation limitations, and usually requires the application of special techniques using overlapping meshes, sliding planes, remeshing or immersed boundaries. This work presents the application of a spacetime interpretation of the fluid conservation laws that unifies meshes in space and time. This effectively replaces the problem of mesh deformation with the problem of mesh generation and, because connectivity is no longer restricted to being constant in time, any motion or topological change may be simulated. Examples are given applying the method to a piston, a pitching NACA0012 aerofoil, an appearing/disappearing object, a two-dimensional store separation and a rotation case to validate and then demonstrate the capabilities of the method. Results for the pitching aerofoil case are compared with a conventional moving mesh unsteady computation and shown to be consistent, whereas the demonstration cases show qualitatively correct behaviour and illustrate the general nature of the technique. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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