US Army Lab Gets Green Light for Supercomputing Project

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program announced its selection of an Army supercomputing project for fiscal 2022.

Since 2014, DOD has awarded what are known as Frontier Projects to enable research, development, test and evaluation outcomes that could not be achieved using typically available DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program resources.

Researchers from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory along with the Naval Air Warfare Center, submitted a winning proposal for a project to explore large-scale integrated simulations of gas turbine engines.

Drs. Luis Bravo from the laboratory and Russell Powers from the Naval Air Warfare Center are primary investigators for the research.

“The advanced design tools resulting from this project will lead to ?quantum leaps in the performance, efficiency and reliability of next-generation gas turbine engines,” Bravo wrote in the proposal. “We are now able to tackle such large problems due to the recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and advanced computational fluid dynamics.”

The researchers hope to create a digital twin of an actual gas turbine engine.

This will enable real-time engine health awareness and reduce lifecycle cost, Bravo said.

“This award will provide the supercomputing resources to make possible our collaboration between our laboratory, NAVAIR, Pratt & Whitney, the University of Cincinnati and Cascade Tech on digital twin models in propulsion,” Bravo said. “We are partnering across government, industry and academia to address a grand challenge in propulsion and we are all very excited about receiving this announcement.”

“The selection of our project shows a focus on advancing state of the art capabilities in numerical predictions for naval aviation engines,” Powers said.

The collaboration will help demonstrate increased capability and applications of predictive modeling and simulation tools, setting a new standard for the use of modeling and simulation in future engine and acquisition programs, he said.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to use these resources, the support of our leadership, and excited to get started,” Powers said.

The award is one of four projects the DOD selected in its Foundational Research and Engineering category and the only one across the Army. The other awardees in this group include the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research.

DOD will allocate resources starting Oct. 1, 2021. While the project will get quarterly reviews, the effort is planned to cover up to four years of research.

“We have high expectations that all Frontier Projects will produce notable achievement and strong mission impacts,” said Dr. Will McMahon, DOD HPCMP director in a memo announcing the award.

By U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

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