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High performance computers design futuristic military vehicles

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Interactive Supercomputing’s Star-P software will help the US 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 US 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 utilised in the acquisition process, even when running on state-of-the-art serial hardware. TARDEC hopes to cut the time to perform computationally intensive simulations by orders of magnitude with Star-P.

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 parallelising 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.