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Welsh Universities Join Global Research Team - Provide Advanced Visualization and Modeling Resources for Grid Computing

Cardiff University and the University of Wales, Swansea, have teamed with Hewlett-Packard, BAE SYSTEMS and the Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore, to use grid computing for the exploration of advanced, collaborative simulation and visualization in aerospace and defense design.

As the electronic systems used in the aerospace and defense sectors become increasingly elaborate, the process of designing, visualizing and simulating the operation of these systems is critical. This is particularly the case for computational electromagnetics, or CEM, which poses some of today’s most complex and compute-intensive engineering problems.

CEM is vital not only to ensuring that the radar cross-section of complex platforms is understood, but that internal electrical systems are compatible, and that those systems can respond appropriately to external inputs, such as lightning strikes or electromagnetic radiation.

Grid experts in the Welsh e-Science Centre at Cardiff University and the University of Wales, Swansea, are working with researchers at HP Services and HP Labs and BAE SYSTEMS' Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), to grid-enable the applications that the ATC uses to create and test its most sophisticated designs, including future concepts such as the More Electric Aircraft and the All Electric Ship.

Using existing nodes at the Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore and BAE SYSTEMS' ATC and advanced visualization and modeling resources from Cardiff University and the University of Wales, Swansea, the organizations will roll out a functioning, geographically dispersed grid that will be used to explore advanced techniques for industrial simulation and grid security.

"This project will significantly help to develop grid technologies for industrial applications,” said Alex Hardisty, manager, Welsh e-Science Centre at Cardiff University. “The idea of an 'extended enterprise,' or 'virtual organization' in which organizations with specialized skills come together to solve complex computational problems is a key element of the grid computing vision."

The grid-enabled computational electromagnetics project is funded by the UK's Department of Trade and Industry as part of the UK e-Science Programme. The first phase of the project began in November 2003.