Ground Vehicle Interface opens high-performance computing doors for a new set of users

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
Published Aug. 7, 2023
ERDC’s research is accelerating ground vehicle research and development, increasing combat effectiveness, and ultimately saving lives.

ERDC’s research is accelerating ground vehicle use and development, increasing combat effectiveness, and ultimately saving lives.

VICKSBURG, Miss.— An interface developed at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) is enabling members of the ground vehicle community to utilize high-performance computing (HPC) tools that were previously only available to scientists and engineers who had extensive knowledge of the underlying high-fidelity physics modeling and simulation codes. The Ground Vehicle Interface (GVI) serves as a user-friendly passageway into the Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments – Ground Vehicles (CREATE-GV) software suite, allowing for wider use of this game changing toolset.

“The primary goal of GVI is to provide an intuitive interface that allows the Department of Defense ground vehicle acquisition community access to this suite of models,” said Michael Puhr, an ITL computer scientist. “This enables users to run complex codes in hours rather than days, greatly reducing the total time it takes to analyze a vehicle’s performance. Additionally, the technology can be used to quickly create thousands of vehicle variations to generate large tradespaces, promoting rapid prototyping.”

GVI also provides a centralized database that promotes collaboration throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) GV userbase, allowing subject-matter experts to work together across diverse organizations to create and validate vehicle models that can be used by others within the application. Part of the High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) CREATE-GV effort, a team of ITL employees created and continues to support GVI.

“These HPC jobs are used to simulate vehicle performance for many different types of performance metrics that are based on proving ground and mission-level requirements for military vehicles,” said Puhr. “The ITL team is also in charge of maintaining and managing all the different hosting environments.  The HPCMP provides the ITL team with a hosting environment and support when it comes to maintaining the GVI application.”

GVI is currently hosted on the ERDC DoD Supercomputing Resource Center-Portal Appliance server, which allows external access to Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) resources via OpenID authentication.  This environment is an HPCMP resource that also provides various other tools such as web shells and file manager access to HPC file systems. Users also have access to both ERDC (Onyx) and Navy (Narwhal) HPC resources. Jody Priddy, the project manager for HPCMP CREATE-GV, stressed that this effort ensures the DoD can provide our soldiers with the best ground vehicles possible.

“The CREATE-GV Tool Set computes expected performance information for assessing and contrasting ground vehicle designs, based on performance requirements and purchase specifications,” said Priddy. “Various types of ground vehicles can be analyzed, such as tanks and other combat vehicles, military cargo trucks, etc.  By providing the computed performance information to support acquisition decisions, the tool set is ultimately ensuring mission success and saving lives.”