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I am looking for a cheap method to simulate aerodynamics of sail plans.

This is for a game, so it does not have to be very accurate, but should be realistic enough so that professional sailors would not dismiss the results immediately.

Sails could be seen as infinitely thin, impermeable, infinitely flexible, though having a finite elastic module. The rest of the sail plan is cables and beams - but I already have a solver for them, so I basically need to couple them with sails using forces and torques. The simulation should calculate reasonable shape of sails and forces exerted by sails on cables - and it accepts the velocity of wind in free field and forces exerted by cables on sails.

If important, the wind velocity vector is a function of height only (logarithmic). I am willing to assume incompressible inviscid (and likely irrotational) fluid.

The main issue is computational cost, so I am a bit concerned that even such simplified methods as vortex lattice will be too expensive.

I realize these requirements are probably too specific to be solved by existing papers exactly, but I am willing to adapt whatever looks promising.

Or should I just try and go with VLM or some panel method?

EDIT: I am looking for a scientific paper/text (preferably multiple) on a numerical method, not for a game library or framework, or any other software. Different methods are applicable to different assumptions and restrictions, so my hope was to find some expert who could recommend relevant literature (and this expert is more likely to be a physicist than a software developer).

Quite a lot of literature, like thin airfoil theory, is not directly applicable, as sails have a very high curvature.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not really sure if this is on topic here, but if not, it should fit at Game Development. $\endgroup$ – David Z Sep 12 '16 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ I am looking for something like this level of details, sounds like a physics question to me. $\endgroup$ – Andris Birkmanis Sep 12 '16 at 4:55
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking for software recommendations not about physics $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 12 '16 at 5:56
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    $\begingroup$ I am NOT asking for software recommendations. I am asking for numerical method recommendations. Would you call a discussion about Verlet vs. Runge-Kutta methods a discussion of software? $\endgroup$ – Andris Birkmanis Sep 12 '16 at 5:59

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