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aircraft rendering

The metal fatigue simulation system developed by UTSA's Harry Millwater applies to general aviation aircraft.

Credit: Andrew Orton / UTSA

University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) researchers have developed SMall Aircraft Risk Technology (SMART), software that can run thousands of simulations on a given part of a plane and produce detailed reports on its structural integrity. The UTSA team used the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to help develop SMART, which analyzes information about stresses, speed, altitude, and the material properties of the metal components. The system uses a probabilistic approach, with randomly chosen inputs, which significantly increases the computational time required to run the analysis.

UTSA professor Harry Millwater wanted to make sure the SMART code could run simultaneously on multiple processing cores, which accelerates performance. "They knew they needed things to run faster, and they knew that HPC [high-performance computing] was an avenue, but it's just not something that they had direct exposure with locally, so they sought out a mechanism to get some assistance," says TACC director Karl W. Schultz.

TACC helped SMART run 188 times faster by instituting a new message passing interface version of the code. The new system is expected to help decision-makers who need to make quick determinations concerning nationwide flight policy.

From University of Texas at Austin
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