Russia Seeks Rocket Simulation System

By Nicole Hemsoth

October 6, 2011

The business of testing rockets isn’t a cheap one, and Russian scientists are looking for less expensive, quicker ways to analyze new designs as they race toward space exploration goals. Modeling and simulation, which is used to model everything from car crashes to more streamlined beer cans, is on the agenda as Russia looks to speed time to rocket development.

Roscocosmos, the Russian state space organization, has published a tender for development of “manufacturing technology of a cluster compute system with hybrid architecture for imitational modeling of rocket and launchers’ real flight conditions,” reports CNews. According to the proposal, Russia is prepared to set aside around $1.74 million for the rocket testing cluster.

Russian space officials claim they require a system to be capable of providing peak performance of up to 10 teraflops, hold 20 GB RAM and offer 4000 GB of disk space.

The tender goes on to note that the agency is looking for a contractor that can not only deliver this “manufacturing technology” but that can also provide a sample of such compute system (with CPU, GPU architecture), which will be installed at other sites in the space agency’s network of research and development centers.

As the CNews report stated:

“It stands to mention that Roscosmos by now has had some practice of computer modeling. This year the agency got a personal supercomputer with performance of arounf 1 Tflops and some applied software developed by specialists of the Federal Nuclear Center of the Russian city of Sarov (part of Russia`s biggest state nuclear corporation – Rosatom). source close to Rosatom said to CNews that software had been used to model some elements of the new RD-0146 spacecraft engine and parts of the Rus-M launcher.”

The software powering these simulations must be able to simulate combustion dynamics and analuze heat transfer and aerogas dynamics of rockets at transonic speeds. According to CNews, Russia already possess the world’s largest gas dynamics chambers at the Central Science Research Institute for Machine Engineering in Moscow. This has been the site of other heat transfer research for other Russian space modules in the past.

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