Summit Simulates Braking – on Mars

By Staff report

October 14, 2019

NASA is planning to send humans to Mars by the 2030s – and landing on the surface will be considerably trickier than landing a rover like Curiosity. To solve the problem, NASA researchers are using the world’s fastest publicly-ranked supercomputer.

Mars’ atmosphere is a hundred times thinner than Earth’s, meaning that what might be a gradual descent through Earth’s atmosphere looks more like a plummet on Mars.

“You can’t use parachutes to land very large payloads on the surface of Mars,” said Ashley Korzun, a research aerospace engineer at NASA, of the planned human exploration vehicle, which she likens to a two-story house. “The physics just break down. You have to do something else.”

So instead of parachutes, NASA engineers have turned to another solution: retropropulsion, whereby the vehicle would use engine power to decelerate as it descended toward the surface. “Instead of pushing you forward, retropropulsion engines slow you down, like brakes,” said Korzun.

But, as always, it’s easier said than done – and for the doing, NASA is turning to the Summit supercomputer, a massive system at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) that delivers 148.6 Linpack petaflops and leads the current Top500 list. 

Summit is running computational fluid dynamics code – FUN3D – to model the aerodynamic effects of the descent through the Martian atmosphere. Researchers are closely examining turbulent flows across a wide range of time intervals and distances.

“FUN3D and the computing capability itself have been completely game-changing, allowing us to move forward with technology development for retropropulsion, which has applications on Earth, the Moon, and Mars,” Korzun said. “We can’t match all of the relevant physics in ground or flight testing on Earth, so we’re very reliant on computational capability. This is really the first opportunity – at this level of fidelity and resolution – that we’ve been able to see what happens to the vehicle as it slows down with its engines on.”

“We would typically wait 5 to 6 months to get an equivalent answer using CPU technology in a capacity environment, meaning lots of smaller runs,” said Eric Nielsen, the senior research scientist at NASA Langley who is leading landing simulation project. “On Summit, we’re getting those answers in about 4 to 5 days. Moreover, Summit enables us to perform 5 or 6 such simulations simultaneously, ultimately reducing turnaround time from 2 or 3 years to a work week.”

The team is also producing high-resolution visualizations of the descent using the quantitative data produced by the simulations.

“The visualization is a big takeaway from the Summit capability, which has enabled us to capture very small flow structures as well as really large flow structures,” Korzun said. “I can see what is happening right at the rocket engine nozzle exit, as well as tens of meters ahead in the direction the vehicle is traveling.”

The team hopes that the results will inform the real-world testing – such as wind tunnel testing – that will begin within the coming years as NASA begins to turn its Mars dreams into realities.

To read OLCF’s original article discussing this research, click here.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

White House Scientific Integrity Report Addresses AI and ML Ethics

January 26, 2022

Earlier this month, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Scientific Integrity Task Force released a report titled “Protecting the Integrity of Government Science.” While broad-based and over Read more…

IBM Quantum Debuts Classical Entanglement Forging to Expand Simulation Capabilities

January 26, 2022

IBM last week reported a new technique – entanglement forging – that uses both quantum and classical computing resources to double the size of select simulation problems that can be solved on current quantum computer Read more…

Lenovo Launches Its TruScale HPC as a Service Offering

January 26, 2022

Lenovo today announced TruScale High Performance Computing as a Service (HPCaaS), which it says will offer a “cloud-like experience” to HPC organizations of all sizes. The new HPC-as-a-Service is part of the TruScale Read more…

Ceremorphic Touts Its HPC/AI Silicon Technology as It Exits Stealth

January 25, 2022

In a market still filling with fledging silicon chips, Ceremorphic, Inc. has exited stealth and is telling the world about what it calls its patented new ThreadArch multi-thread processor technology that is intended to h Read more…

Quantum Watch: Neutral Atoms Draw Growing Attention as Promising Qubit Technology

January 25, 2022

Currently, there are many qubit technologies vying for sway in quantum computing. So far, superconducting (IBM, Google) and trapped ion (IonQ, Quantinuum) have dominated the conversation. Microsoft’s proposed topologic Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Register for the AWS “Speeds n’ Feeds” event on Feb. 9th

Since the debut of the first ‘Beowulf’ cluster in 1994, HPC has been a race between technologists squeezing as much performance as possible from hardware, and scale economics driving mass-production prices to affordable levels. Read more…

Meta’s Massive New AI Supercomputer Will Be ‘World’s Fastest’

January 24, 2022

Fresh off its rebrand last October, Meta (née Facebook) is putting muscle behind its vision of a metaversal future with a massive new AI supercomputer called the AI Research SuperCluster (RSC). Meta says that RSC will b Read more…

Lenovo Launches Its TruScale HPC as a Service Offering

January 26, 2022

Lenovo today announced TruScale High Performance Computing as a Service (HPCaaS), which it says will offer a “cloud-like experience” to HPC organizations of Read more…

Ceremorphic Touts Its HPC/AI Silicon Technology as It Exits Stealth

January 25, 2022

In a market still filling with fledging silicon chips, Ceremorphic, Inc. has exited stealth and is telling the world about what it calls its patented new Thread Read more…

Quantum Watch: Neutral Atoms Draw Growing Attention as Promising Qubit Technology

January 25, 2022

Currently, there are many qubit technologies vying for sway in quantum computing. So far, superconducting (IBM, Google) and trapped ion (IonQ, Quantinuum) have Read more…

Meta’s Massive New AI Supercomputer Will Be ‘World’s Fastest’

January 24, 2022

Fresh off its rebrand last October, Meta (née Facebook) is putting muscle behind its vision of a metaversal future with a massive new AI supercomputer called t Read more…

IBM Watson Health Finally Sold by IBM After 11 Months of Rumors

January 21, 2022

IBM has sold its underachieving IBM Watson Health unit for an undisclosed price tag to a global investment firm after almost a year’s worth of rumors that sai Read more…

Supercomputer Analysis Shows the Atmospheric Reach of the Tonga Eruption

January 21, 2022

On Saturday, an enormous eruption on the volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Haʻapai shook the Pacific Ocean. The explosion, which could be heard six tho Read more…

NSB Issues US State of Science and Engineering 2022 Report

January 20, 2022

This week the National Science Board released its biannual U.S. State of Science and Engineering 2022 report, as required by the NSF Act. Broadly, the report presents a near-term view of S&E based mostly on 2019 data. To a large extent, this year’s edition echoes trends from the last few reports. The U.S. is still a world leader in R&D spending and S&E education... Read more…

Multiverse Targets ‘Quantum Computing for the Masses’

January 19, 2022

The race to deliver quantum computing solutions that shield users from the underlying complexity of quantum computing is heating up quickly. One example is Multiverse Computing, a European company, which today launched the second financial services product in its Singularity product group. The new offering, Fair Price, “delivers a higher accuracy in fair price calculations for financial... Read more…

IonQ Is First Quantum Startup to Go Public; Will It be First to Deliver Profits?

November 3, 2021

On October 1 of this year, IonQ became the first pure-play quantum computing start-up to go public. At this writing, the stock (NYSE: IONQ) was around $15 and its market capitalization was roughly $2.89 billion. Co-founder and chief scientist Chris Monroe says it was fun to have a few of the company’s roughly 100 employees travel to New York to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

AMD Launches Milan-X CPU with 3D V-Cache and Multichip Instinct MI200 GPU

November 8, 2021

At a virtual event this morning, AMD CEO Lisa Su unveiled the company’s latest and much-anticipated server products: the new Milan-X CPU, which leverages AMD’s new 3D V-Cache technology; and its new Instinct MI200 GPU, which provides up to 220 compute units across two Infinity Fabric-connected dies, delivering an astounding 47.9 peak double-precision teraflops. “We're in a high-performance computing megacycle, driven by the growing need to deploy additional compute performance... Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Nvidia Buys HPC Cluster Management Company Bright Computing

January 10, 2022

Graphics chip powerhouse Nvidia today announced that it has acquired HPC cluster management company Bright Computing for an undisclosed sum. Unlike Nvidia’s bid to purchase semiconductor IP company Arm, which has been stymied by regulatory challenges, the Bright deal is a straightforward acquisition that aims to expand... Read more…

D-Wave Embraces Gate-Based Quantum Computing; Charts Path Forward

October 21, 2021

Earlier this month D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing pioneer that has long championed quantum annealing-based quantum computing (and sometimes taken heat fo Read more…

Killer Instinct: AMD’s Multi-Chip MI200 GPU Readies for a Major Global Debut

October 21, 2021

AMD’s next-generation supercomputer GPU is on its way – and by all appearances, it’s about to make a name for itself. The AMD Radeon Instinct MI200 GPU (a successor to the MI100) will, over the next year, begin to power three massive systems on three continents: the United States’ exascale Frontier system; the European Union’s pre-exascale LUMI system; and Australia’s petascale Setonix system. Read more…

Three Chinese Exascale Systems Detailed at SC21: Two Operational and One Delayed

November 24, 2021

Details about two previously rumored Chinese exascale systems came to light during last week’s SC21 proceedings. Asked about these systems during the Top500 media briefing on Monday, Nov. 15, list author and co-founder Jack Dongarra indicated he was aware of some very impressive results, but withheld comment when asked directly if he had... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Lessons from LLVM: An SC21 Fireside Chat with Chris Lattner

December 27, 2021

Today, the LLVM compiler infrastructure world is essentially inescapable in HPC. But back in the 2000 timeframe, LLVM (low level virtual machine) was just getting its start as a new way of thinking about how to overcome shortcomings in the Java Virtual Machine. At the time, Chris Lattner was a graduate student of... Read more…

2021 Gordon Bell Prize Goes to Exascale-Powered Quantum Supremacy Challenge

November 18, 2021

Today at the hybrid virtual/in-person SC21 conference, the organizers announced the winners of the 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize: a team of Chinese researchers leveraging the new exascale Sunway system to simulate quantum circuits. The Gordon Bell Prize, which comes with an award of $10,000 courtesy of HPC pioneer Gordon Bell, is awarded annually... Read more…

Meta’s Massive New AI Supercomputer Will Be ‘World’s Fastest’

January 24, 2022

Fresh off its rebrand last October, Meta (née Facebook) is putting muscle behind its vision of a metaversal future with a massive new AI supercomputer called t Read more…

Nvidia Defends Arm Acquisition Deal: a ‘Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity’

January 13, 2022

GPU-maker Nvidia is continuing to try to keep its proposed acquisition of British chip IP vendor Arm Ltd. alive, despite continuing concerns from several governments around the world. In its latest action, Nvidia filed a 29-page response to the U.K. government to point out a list of potential benefits of the proposed $40 billion deal. Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

Top500: No Exascale, Fugaku Still Reigns, Polaris Debuts at #12

November 15, 2021

No exascale for you* -- at least, not within the High-Performance Linpack (HPL) territory of the latest Top500 list, issued today from the 33rd annual Supercomputing Conference (SC21), held in-person in St. Louis, Mo., and virtually, from Nov. 14–19. "We were hoping to have the first exascale system on this list but that didn’t happen," said Top500 co-author... Read more…

TACC Unveils Lonestar6 Supercomputer

November 1, 2021

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is unveiling its latest supercomputer: Lonestar6, a three peak petaflops Dell system aimed at supporting researchers Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire