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AHPCRC Bulletin: Winter/Spring 1996 - Volume 6 Number 1-2

Supercomputing '95

Gary Hansen (AHPCRC-MSCI)


AHPCRC booth at Supercomputing `95
At the Supercomputing '95 Conference, held December 3-8 in San Diego, California, a key visitor to the AHPCRC research exhibit was Department of Defense (DoD) dignitary Anita Jones, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). Tayfun Tezduyar (AHPCRC Director) described to Jones the research results presented in the AHPCRC research exhibit.

The featured demonstration in the AHPCRC research exhibit was the simulation of a paratrooper drop from a cargo aircraft. This demonstration was based on an AHPCRC collaborative research project currently in progress with the Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) to develop scalable software to model the paratrooper drop. This project consisted of three parts:

  1. generation of a computational mesh for cargo aircraft with an open door(s) and cavity, initial flow simulations and analysis of the flow field in critical areas
  2. analysis of flow behavior (by releasing into the flow particles which approximate the path of a paratrooper)
  3. aircraft-paratrooper simulations in which the paratrooper is modeled as a moving body in the flow field during the flow simulation.
Airflow patterns, which affect the paratrooper drop path, are determined by the shape and speed of the aircraft, meteorological conditions, and turbulence caused by other aircraft involved in the airdrop.

Research and development leading to application software technology, which can accurately model complex, real-world problems such as paratrooper airdrop, is critical to reducing the cost of weapons systems research, development, test, and evaluation. This application was also featured in the new AHPCRC brochure that was distributed at the conference.


Robert Whalin (CEWES) and Tayfun Tezduyar (AHPCRC)
In addition to the paratrooper application, several other AHPCRC research projects were demonstrated continuously via visualization on Onyx workstations at the AHPCRC exhibit. Among these was simulation of the flow through a spillway of the Olmsted Dam on the Ohio river. The simulation demonstrated the applicability of finite element formulation used at the AHPCRC to solve problems of interest to the Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station (CEWES). Using this numerical approach, new designs for dams and waterways can be tested efficiently, and modifications to existing structures can be evaluated.

Olugbemiga Olatidoye (CAU) and Gary Jones (CAU)
Other demonstrations depicted results of AHPCRC research collaborations with scientists from the Army laboratories, including:
  1. a project with the Army Research Laboratory to simulate contaminant dispersion around an M1 battle tank
  2. a project with Natick RDEC scientists in design and evaluation of large ram-air parachutes, which are finding increasing application in the recovery of large payloads, such as spacecraft, ground vehicles, and large emergency food and supply crates
  3. a project with CEWES in the modeling of ground water flow and contaminant migration.
In addition to the demonstration of these research projects, a videotape of these and other AHPCRC research results was shown continuously. The demonstrations were chosen to be representative of state-of-the-art high performance computing (HPC) techniques being developed at the Center.

Charles Nietubicz (ARL) and Tayfun Tezduyar (AHPCRC) discussing center research activities
Projects from the 1995 AHPCRC Summer Institute for Undergraduates were also featured in the form of graphics images. They included Numerical Simulation of Airflow Past a Commercial Airliner; Numerical Simulationof Environmental Fluid Flow: Contaminant Dispersion in a City Block; and Numerical Simulation of Airflow Past Military Vehicles. A videotape of many of the Summer Institute research projects conducted at the AHPCRC this year was shown in the exhibit as well. Ava Jeffries from Jackson State University, a 1995 Summer Institute participant, and Gary Jones from Clark Atlanta University (CAU), a 1994 Summer Institute participant and 1995 AHPCRC Summer Intern, attended Supercomputing '95 and participated in the research exhibit activities, hosting visitors to the AHCPRC research exhibit and providing information on their experiences and activities in HPC.

In addition to the demonstration activities in the AHPCRC research exhibit, AHPCRC researchers conducted demonstrations of AHPCRC research projects on an SGI workstation in the DoD HPC Modernization Program research exhibit.