NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) is responsible for developing technologies that will enable future aircraft to burn less fuel, generate fewer emissions and make less noise. Every U.S. aircraft and U.S. air traffic control tower has NASA-developed technology on board. It's why NASA likes to say, NASA is with you when you fly.
NASA needs to increase the speed of computations on the Pleiades supercomputer, specifically for computational fluid dynamics, by orders of magnitude, and could use your help.
NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) is tasked with innovating at the cutting edge of aerospace. Their work includes Innovation in Commercial Supersonic Aircraft, Ultra-efficient Commercial Vehicles and Transitioning to Low-Carbon Propulsion while also supporting the development of launch vehicles and planetary entry systems. These strategic thrusts are supported by advanced computational tools, which enable reductions in ground-based and in-flight testing, provide added physical insight, enable superior designs at reduced cost and risk, and open new frontiers in aerospace vehicle design and performance.
The advanced computational tools include the NASA FUN3D software which is used for solving non-linear partial differential equations, known as Navier-Stokes equations, used for steady and unsteady flow computations including large eddy simulations in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Despite tremendous progress made in the past few decades, CFD tools are too slow for simulation of complex geometry flows, particularly those involving flow separation and multi-physics, e.g. combustion, applications. To enable high-fidelity CFD for multi-disciplinary analysis and design, the speed of computation must be increased by orders of magnitude.
NASA is seeking proposals for improving the performance of the NASA FUN3D software running on the NASA Pleiades supercomputer. The desired outcome is any approach that can accelerate calculations by a factor of 10-1000x without any decrease in accuracy and while utilizing the existing hardware platform.
This challenge is being supported by HeroX and Topcoder and proposals are being accepted for 2 separate opportunities:
1. Ideation: Ideas and approaches may include, but are not limited to exploiting algorithmic developments in such areas as grid adaptation, higher-order methods and efficient solution techniques for high performance computing hardware. Ideation responses can be submitted by clicking the accept challenge button.
2. Architecture (Topcoder): Optimize individual software module code and inter-node processing in order to reduce overall model computation time and parallelization efficiency is the goal of this second challenge. Ideal submission may include algorithm optimization of the existing code base, Inter-node dispatch optimization or a combination of the two. Unlike the Ideation challenge, which is highly strategic, this challenge focuses on measureable improvements of the existing FUN3D suite and is highly tactical. You can visit Topcoder for full details.
The FUN3D software is written predominantly in Modern Fortran. The software is evolving steadily in multi-language directions for reasons other than performance. Currently, a standard computational task in the CFD area takes from thousands to millions of computational core-hours.
This isn't a quest for the faint of heart. As a participant, you'll need to gain access to FUN3D software through an application process with the US Government. Although this software usually runs on the Pleiades supercomputer, you can download and run it locally after applying .