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Star-P Uses Supercomputers In Support Of Futuristic Military Vehicles
A HMMWV class vehicle.
A HMMWV class vehicle.
by Staff Writers
Waltham MA (SPX) Dec 19, 2006
Interactive Supercomputing Star-P software will help the U.S. Army and vehicle designers to evaluate the performance and reliability of next-generation military vehicles using supercomputers to dramatically accelerate simulation of the vehicles' operations.

ISC received a subcontract from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to transform its internally developed ground vehicle performance and reliability software to run on parallel computers. TARDEC is the nation's laboratory for advanced military ground systems and automotive technology.

The first phase of the project is to predict the reliability of the HMMWV M-1097, the Army's biggest "Humvee"-class vehicle designed to provide safe transport of troops, equipment and cargo in rugged, hostile environments. If successful, the research could contribute to future development in robotic, plug-in electric and other advanced vehicle combat systems.

Until now, running full simulations of vehicle computer models in serial mode has taken too long to be fully utilized in the acquisition process, even when running on state-of-the-art serial hardware. TARDEC hopes to cut the time to perform computionationally intensive simulations by orders of magnitude with Star-P.

"Our performance and reliability simulations of ground vehicles are run many times with a wide range of parameters, and a wide range of operational conditions, which often takes more time to compute than we can afford to wait for. Serial computer runs are not the answer," said Dr. David Gorsich, a senior research scientist at U.S. Army TARDEC. "Making parallelization easy for the typical analyst is essential. We needed a solution to convert existing serial code into parallel code quickly and easily. If successful, Star-P will enable TARDEC users who are unfamiliar with parallel computing to speed up very large simulations, without having to re-program their models."

Star-P is an interactive parallel computing platform that will enable TARDEC scientists to use their existing serial models developed in C or FORTRAN languages, automatically parallelizing the code run on parallel servers or clusters. Star-P lets users continue to work with their preferred tools, languages and desktop environments, shielding them from the programming complexities of parallel systems.

"TARDEC's mission is to research, develop and integrate advanced technology into ground systems and support equipment for all U.S. Armed Forces," said Ilya Mirman, vice president of marketing at ISC. "We look forward to helping TARDEC scientists accelerate this important mission."

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Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter Completes First Flight
Fort Worth TX (SPX) Dec 18, 2006
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II lifted into the skies today for the first time, completing a successful inaugural flight and initiating the most comprehensive flight test program in military aviation history. "The Lightning II performed beautifully," said F-35 Chief Pilot Jon Beesley following the flight.

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