Add New Scenario

This page explains how to create and submit scenarios for both AI and CFD simulations.


Orbital Stack supports two types of simulations: AI and Rapid-CFD. If you are unsure whether to run an AI or CFD simulation type, please take a look at Choosing Your Simulation Approach – AI vs CFD.


Video Tutorial – How to Add a New Scenario
Full step-by-step video guiding you on how to add a new AI scenario

1. Add a New AI/CFD Scenario

On the Projects Dashboard, find your project tile and click “Add Scenario“.

In the pop-up window, choose a name for your scenario and select the Job Level (type of simulation) you would like to run:

  • AI Engine
  • Rapid CFD

*IMPORTANT: Explore the differences between AI and CFD by reading Choosing Your Simulation Approach – AI vs CFD.

Under the analysis selection, choose Pedestrian Level Wind and select your metrics.

Thermal Comfort analysis is offered as a complimentary option and must be specifically chosen as such.

Only wind analysis simulation parameters selected.
Wind analysis and thermal comfort simulation parameters selected.

*IMPORTANT: To learn more about the metrics available, please visit our knowledge base page.

The next step is a summary of the scenario configuration, and identifies the amount of credits (AI/CFD) this scenario will cost you:

AI simulations:

  • Pedestrian Level Wind – 8 AI credits
  • Thermal Comfort cost an additional 4 AI credits for 2 seasons or 8 AI credits for 4 seasons. Thermal Comfort must be added as a complimentary analysis onto a Pedestrian Level Wind simulation.

CFD simulations:

  • Pedestrian Level Wind – 7 CFD credits
  • Thermal Comfort cost an additional 3 CFD credits for 2 seasons or 7 CFD credits for 4 seasons

You may choose to purchase the simulation using credits from an active subscription plan or on a Pay-per-Use basis*.

*Note: Pay-Per-Use must to be enabled for your account and for your company. If this option is not available, please contact your company administrator and/or set up an agreement through sales@orbitalstack.com.

When you are finished, click “Create” to begin setting up your simulation.

1.1 Upload and Categorize Geometry

To begin setting up your simulation, upload your geometry files into the corresponding buckets appearing to the left of the screen.

Files must be exported from your CAD software and uploaded in STL file format.

IMPORTANT: Before uploading your Geometry, ensure it has been correctly prepared. Quick tips and detailed instructions can be found on our Preparing Geometry post.

Upload all the required Geometry files by dragging and dropping the files or by clicking the buckets and locating the files directly on your computer. STL Files include:

  • Study Building: The main object of analysis
  • Surrounds/Context: Surrounding buildings of the main object
  • Ground Surface: The terrain around the study building and surrounding area
  • Presentation Plane(s): The areas where you would like to see results visualized (ex. street level, rooftops, podia etc). Ensure that you have raised these 1.5 meters above the surface for which you want results visible. You can upload multiple presentation planes, however, our AI engine will combine these into one when viewing the results.
  • Overlay: The streets and sidewalks layer for visualization only.  Does not influence simulations, as such, these need to be raised 1.7m above the ground.

The following are exclusively available for CFD simulations only:

  • Landscaping: any large trees or large clusters of shrubs. Please indicate porosity in Scenario Notes Section
  • Mitigations: any features that would be installed for mitigation measures (ex. screens, canopies etc.)

As you upload your Geometry files, they will appear in the preview window to the right of the screen.

Within the preview window, click the lightbulb icon at the bottom-left for tips on how to spin and rotate your model to make sure everything aligns as expected.

Once all of your geometry files are uploaded, proceed to the next step by navigating to the bottom right of the page and clicking “Next“.

1.2 Review Geometry Integrity

Before finalizing your simulation parameters, we strongly recommend checking your files to confirm that they are formatted properly in accordance with the considerations which appear on the left of the screen. The viewer will ask you to check off each of these items before moving on to select simulation parameters, though this is not strictly necessary.

You are now prompted to “Run Geometry Validation

The viewer will warn you of potential issues within your geometry, i.e. surfaces are volumetric when they should be a single flat surface or presentation planes are are not raised high enough. If this happens, you can click the button “Fix Geometry Files” which will take you back to the geometry upload page allowing you to remove your file and reupload a corrected file.

If no issues were found in your geometry files, you can proceed by clicking “Next” in the bottom right of the screen.

IMPORTANT: You can move forward without rectifying your geometry during the validation process. However, it’s crucial to understand that depending on the issue, it may impact your results.

1.3 Select Simulation Parameters

For a Pedestrian Wind Analysis, you will be asked to select the RWDI Abridged and Wind Direction parameters.

If you have requested Thermal Comfort, you will also be asked to select the specific parameters for the metrics you have chosen, i.e. SPMV*, Solar, Wind Cooling Potential, and UTCI.

1.3.1 Choose RWDI Abridged Parameters

You are now required to set the parameters for your seasons under the RWDI Abridged tab. You may use the default settings, customize them to your preference or copy them from one of the other parameters that have already been selected.

IMPORTANT: Seasons must cover a range of at least 2 months. Time ranges must cover a range of at least 3 hours. Otherwise, an error message will appear near the bottom of the pop-up window.

1.3.2 Choose Wind Directions & Terrain

You can now navigate to the tab labeled “Wind Directions” to customize your wind parameters.

If you are only simulating a few wind directions, we recommend that you pick the ones that are most common at that site up to a maximum of 8. At any location, conditions are always dominated by the prevailing winds.

To ensure that you have some statistical confidence in the combined Pedestrian Wind Comfort results, it is recommended that there be a minimum of six directions (eight preferred) and that those directions correspond to the most common winds.

If you are unsure of which directions to choose, we recommend that you go with the default eight directions, spread evenly around the compass.

For each wind direction, you are required to select an upwind terrain (aka roughness). If you are unsure of which terrain type to choose, we recommend using a tool such as Google Maps to identify the terrain type adjacent to the site for each direction. For further guidance, check out: Wind Directions and Terrain Considerations (AI)

1.3.3 Choose SPMV* Parameters

This option will only appear if you have requested the complimentary Thermal Comfort analysis at the scenario creation stage.

The SPMV* Parameters include Seasons, Time of Day, Clothing Profile and Activity.

  • Seasons – can be customized, copied from other parameters, or you can choose the default options.
  • Time of Day can be customized or you can choose the default option. For additional guidance, please check out Time Slicing Profiles
  • Clothing Profile – choose the clothing type that aligns best with the intended activity of your site. For additional information, check out: Clothing Profiles
  • Activity – choose the activity that closest matches the intended use of your space. For additional information, check out: Activity Types

1.3.4 Choose Solar, Wind Cooling Potential, and UTCI Parameters

These options will only appear if you have requested the complimentary Thermal Comfort analysis and their corresponding metrics at the scenario creation stage.

These Parameters include Seasons and Time of Day. All can be customized, copied from other parameters, or you can choose the default options.

2. Submission

You are now almost ready to submit! If you wish to make edits to the previous steps, simply click the “Back” button at the bottom of the page (all parameters, etc. will save).

Once you are satisfied, click “Submit“.

A pop-up window will appear confirming the total cost of the simulation (in credits). Once you have checked the box to confirm that you have read the Terms and Agreement, click “Submit Scenario“.

Submission pop-up window for AI (left) and CFD (right) simulations

After submitting an AI simulation, the page will refresh and results will render within a few minutes*.

After submitting a CFD simulation, you will receive an email confirmation. All results should be available within 2-3 business days*. If we run into any issues, we will contact you directly.

*Note: If there are issues with your submission (i.e. unprepared geometry and/or unaligned Simulation Parameters), results may take additional time.

Please do not hesitate to Contact Us with any questions!


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