OpenMDAO version 0.8.1 was released today. In it, there are several improvements to help with installation issues, significant improvements to the geometry viewer, and a few minor bug fixes. This is mostly a maintenance release for the framework, including a number of under-the-covers changes that you won’t directly see. Go grab the latest version here.
We’re working hard toward a 0.9.0 release in the next month or so and also toward a full 1.0 release early in FY14. A number of our users have asked us what new stuff will be included in that work. In the near term, we’re working hard on implementing a new and very advanced derivatives capability in the framework. While we currently have an API for working with components that can provide their own derivatives, it’s not the most elegant solution. It also does not scale well to problems with more than a few hundred variables and doesn’t have strong support for components that provide an adjoint vector.
So for the last few months, we’ve been working closely with Dr. Quim Martins and John Hwang from the MDO Lab at the University of Michigan to implement a more flexible and scalable coupled derivatives system. The work is heavily based on their recent publication in the AIAA Journal. This method for solving for the coupled derivatives will work for problems with thousands of variables. We’re currently working to test this new system on a sample problem that John Hwang developed for the design of a small satellite. This problem is computationally inexpensive enough to be run on a single computer, but it still has over 30,000 design variables, which makes it an excellent test case for the new derivatives system.