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Defense Department is testing a Shipping Container Supercomputer

Design image of the $12 million supercomputer system housed in a shipping container. Photo By William Farrow

The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Facility Technology Integration, High Performance Computing Program recently procured a new supercomputer that will serve users from all of the services and agencies of the Department of Defense.

The $12 million contract provides for a supercomputing system housed in a shipping container with on-board power conditioning and cooling, along with the corresponding hardware and software maintenance services. The “HPC in a Container” is designed to be deployable to the tactical edge and deployment opportunities to remote locations are currently being evaluated.

The new supercomputer will initially be based at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Developmental Command Army Research Laboratory DOD Supercomputing Resource Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Sally Parsons, Huntsville Center Information Technology Systems Division chief, said the system brings a significant capability to support militarily significant use-cases that were not possible with supercomputers installed in fixed facilities.

This is a singularly important achievement for its end-users,” said Parsons. “Because of the sensitive nature of the work involved, we here at Huntsville Center will never know exactly the solutions this unique tool will provide in the field, but I am quite confident that our work will result in both lives saved and problems avoided.”

The system is expected to be delivered later in 2019, and to enter production service shortly thereafter.

Source: William Farrow, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville

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