HILDA: The Supercomputer Leading the Digital Revolution in Aviation Research
The aviation industry is rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly complex. In order to keep up with this evolution, the industry is becoming increasingly reliant on digital environments, including digital communications, data sharing, analysis, and simulations. At the forefront of this digital revolution is high performance computing.
Cranfield University is leading the way with their supercomputer, HILDA (Hypercomputing Integrated Layer for Digital Aviation). The supercomputer is named after aviation pioneer Hilda Hewlett, the first woman to gain a pilot's license in the UK and a partner in setting up the country's first flying school.
HILDA is the foundation of the university's new Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC), providing a digital aviation ecosystem for researchers and industry collaborators. It offers a layer of digital support filled with ready-made building blocks of data and software tools for breakthrough research and innovation.
The computational power behind HILDA is impressive, with 4,576 computing cores, 110,592 CUDA cores, and 6,912 TensorFlow cores, along with 15 terabytes of available RAM and 2.7 petabytes of storage. Its processing power is estimated to be 10.2 petaflops AI, making it one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.
HILDA is being used to run simulations and algorithms for a variety of research projects critical to the future of aviation. This includes testing next-generation air traffic control systems, facial recognition technology for airport gates, and the creation of digital twins of aircraft for modeling and prediction of performance.
The aviation industry is under increasing pressure to meet net zero carbon emissions targets, making innovation across every area of aviation critical. HILDA will play an important part in the coming years of transformation and help towards meeting the Government's ambition for the UK to be a STEM research superpower, leading on innovations in engineering and technology.
In conclusion, high performance computing is revolutionizing the aviation industry, and HILDA is at the forefront of this digital revolution. Its power and versatility make it an essential tool for researchers and industry collaborators working to shape the future of aviation.