HP, BAE SYSTEMS Take Grid for Advanced Aerospace and Defense Design

11/10/2003 - HP (NYSE:HPQ) has teamed with BAE SYSTEMS, the Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore, Cardiff University and the University of Wales, Swansea, to use grid computing for the exploration of advanced, collaborative simulation and visualization in aerospace and defense design.

As part of the collaboration, HP and BAE will work together to develop improved security measures for sharing grid-enabled applications and data.

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 becomes paramount. 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 critical 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 HP Services and HP Labs are working with researchers in BAE SYSTEMS' Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), the Welsh e-Science Centre at Cardiff University and the University of Wales, Swansea, 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.

"We expect that grid-enabling our complex modeling codes will allow us to improve the speed and efficiency of our design process. In particular, it will enhance our capability to work with global partners on future generations of aerospace and defense systems," said Terry Knibb, chief scientist, BAE SYSTEMS. "We chose to work with HP on this project because of their grid expertise, specifically in developing and deploying grid infrastructure and providing training and support on grid standards, like the Globus Toolkit and the Open Grid Services Architecture."

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 is expected to begin later this month. Using existing nodes at the Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore and BAE SYSTEMS' ATC - including two recently installed, Itanium®-based HP Integrity rx2600 servers - 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. 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," said Alex Hardisty, manager, Welsh e-Science Centre at Cardiff University.

Later phases of the project will focus on the development of heightened security for grid environments, including the exploration of measures to enable the secure remote execution of highly proprietary applications. By allowing external organizations that are members of a grid to run an application and report back the computational data without ever having access to the program's underlying code, the security measures are expected to increase the protection of commercial organizations' sensitive intellectual property, while still allowing them to take advantage of grid computing's benefits.

"We're working to solve some of the security and information sharing worries that to date have prevented commercial companies from trusting a grid with running their most critical business applications," said, Martin Walker, segment manager, grids, HP Services. "Our work with BAE SYSTEMS will serve as a model for other businesses looking to leverage grid computing and underscores HP's dedication to delivering real, functional grid solutions to the enterprise."

BAE SYSTEMS is an international company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea and in space. The company designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years. It is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defense systems.

BAE SYSTEMS has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company has more than 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 12 billion through its wholly owned and joint venture operations.

The Welsh e-Science Centre is one of nine centers in the UK set up to develop and promote grid computing technologies to support e-Science - science that is increasingly done through distributed global collaborations enabled by the Internet, that uses very large data collections, tera-scale computing resources and high-performance visualization.

Independent government assessments recognize Cardiff University as one of Britain's leading research and teaching universities. In the 2001 national assessment of research quality, the University was ranked seventh of more 106 universities in the UK. Eighty-seven percent of the University's academic research staff work in departments assessed as undertaking work of national and international excellence, and the University is, by invitation, a member of the Russell Group of leading research universities. Twenty-one subject areas have been assessed as "Excellent" for teaching, one of the highest totals in Britain. The University was founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Visit the University Web site at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing for consumers, enterprises and small and medium businesses. For the last four quarters, HP revenue totaled $71.3 billion. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.

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