Supercomputer at APG will double speed of weapons tests

August 04, 2004|By Artika Rangan | Artika Rangan,SUN STAFF

The Army's new Stryker supercomputer will allow researchers at Aberdeen Proving Ground to perform detailed test simulations of weaponry twice as fast as they can now, officials said.

The supercomputer, built by International Business Machines Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., is to be installed next month at the Army Research Laboratory's Major Shared Resource Center, the Army and IBM announced yesterday.

The Department of Defense has supercomputing needs there that are related to basic science, weapons design and chemical research.

Charles Nietubicz, director of the Major Shared Resource Center, said yesterday that Stryker will help the Army better understand the basic physics of building and designing weapon systems.

Earlier technology was too time-consuming, he said, adding that computer requests for information have often taken months to complete.

Stryker is so fast that it can compute in one second what would take a calculator 8 million years to accomplish, said Mike Nelson, director of IBM's systems group.

The supercomputer should enable the Army to simulate and model armor penetration to improve protection for soldiers or to gain greater understanding of combustion inside a gun tube, Nietubicz said.

"It reduces the number of tests we need to do," he said. "By building [weapons systems] on the computer, we can get more exact answers that follow the physical equations of nature."

Nelson said Stryker will cost tens of millions of dollars. It would consist of 1,186 IBM high-speed computers. Stryker is expected to be of the 20 fastest computers in the world.

Nietubicz said the Air Force and the Navy also will be able to use the Stryker system.

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