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Deutsche Telekom opens supercomputer for aviation research

The Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems has introduced its supercomputer for the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Aerospace Center, DLR).


The new computer will allow the DLR to simulate precisely how planes will behave as early as at the draft stage. The scientists in Braunschweig wish to use this to reduce development costs and make air travel even safer. 


Through computer simulation, the researchers are also looking for ways to reduce the amount of noise and pollutant emissions caused by planes in the future. The computer – one of the fastest in the world used industrially for aviation research – will be used in the Center for Computer Applications in AeroSpace Science and Engineering (C2A2S2E), the joint simulation centre of DLR, Airbus and the state of Lower Saxony. 


The high performance computer, conceived and operated by T-Systems, will carry out 46.6 trillion calculations with floating-point numbers per second.


Because of today’s very short development cycles for processors, in the development of the computer, the hardware had to be adapted to the software, not the other way round. 


The IT infrastructure, developed on the basis of Sun Microsystems hardware, ensures a high data transfer rate, which makes possible parallel calculations of several highly complex simulations. It was especially important for the C2A2S2E project to increase significantly the number of processor cores used simultaneously.


Instead of a maximum of 500 cores, as has been the case up to now, researchers can now employ 768 Blade Server Modules and thus will have access to 6,144 cores at the same time. By 2010, this performance should rise even further by using the next server generation.


The aim of the C2A2S2E project, which is planned to last at least 15 years, is to use thorough and highly precise calculations – such as flow simulations – to accelerate and improve aircraft development and at the same time reduce development costs.

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