Researcher Joseph Nichols of the school's Center for Turbulence Research used the Sequoia IBM Bluegene/Q system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to solve a complex fluid dynamics problem: the prediction of noise generated by a supersonic jet engine.
The million-core fluid dynamics simulations will contribute to research aimed at designing quieter aircraft engines, researchers said.
"Computational fluid dynamics simulations, like the one Nichols solved, are incredibly complex," said engineering Professor Parviz Moin, the director of the turbulence research center.
The simulations allow researchers to model and measure processes occurring within the harsh jet exhaust environment otherwise inaccessible to experimental equipment, he said.
"Only recently, with the advent of massive supercomputers boasting hundreds of thousands of computing cores, have engineers been able to model jet engines and the noise they produce with accuracy and speed."
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