In computational flow analysis with moving solid surfaces and contact between the solid surfaces, it is a challenge to represent the boundary layers with an accuracy attributed to moving-mesh methods and to represent the contact without leaving a mesh protection gap. The space-time topology change (ST-TC) method, introduced in 2013, makes moving-mesh computation possible even when we have contact between moving solid surfaces or other kinds of flow-domain TC. The contact is represented without giving up on high-resolution flow representation near the moving surfaces. With the ST-TC and other ST computational methods introduced before and after, it has been possible to address many of the challenges encountered in conducting this class of flow analysis in the presence of additional complexities such as geometric complexity, rotation or deformation of the solid surfaces and the multiscale nature of the flow. In this first part of a two-part article, we provide an overview of the methods that made all that possible. We also provide an overview of the computations performed for tire aerodynamics with challenges that include the complexity of a near-actual tire geometry with grooves, road contact, tire deformation and rotation, road roughness and fluid films.
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