Web Page sponsor Oxley Developments
03 Feb 09. Seven months after IBM delivered the world’s fastest supercomputer, it has announced an even speedier one with the computing power of 2 million laptops. IBM said on Tuesday it is developing the technology for its new Sequoia computer, with delivery scheduled in 2011 to the Department of Energy for use at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sequoia will chug along at 20 petaflops per second and is one order of magnitude quicker than its predecessor. The earlier machine, delivered in June to the Energy Department, broke the 1 petaflop barrier. Peta is a term for quadrillion and FLOP stands for floating point operations per second. Sequoia, and a smaller computer called Dawn, are being built in Rochester, Minnesota, for use in simulating nuclear tests. IBM says they can also be used for complex tasks like weather forecasting or oil exploration. IBM says Sequoia will be highly energy-efficient for the job it does but even so will occupy 96 refrigerator-sized racks in an area the size of a big house — 3,422 square feet (318 square meters). (Source: Reuters)
02 Feb 09. Raytheon Company has delivered the first production equipment for the U.S. Navy’s DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer. The Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) planar array antenna assembly was delivered to the Navy on cost and ahead of schedule. CEC brings tactical data fusion capability to the Zumwalt-class destroyer, integrating data from shipborne, airborne and land-based radars into a common, real-time picture for the warfighter. This capability allows all members of the network to simultaneously identify a threat, such as an approaching missile or aircraft, even if the target is out of range of an individual platform’s sensors.
03 Feb 09. Plans for UK satellite launcher. Two British companies are involved in discussions about developing a low-cost rocket capable of putting small satellites in orbit. The idea is being promoted by SSTL, a firm in Guildford, Surrey, best known for its Earth observation spacecraft, in conjunction with Virgin Galactic. It is 38 years since the UK government abandoned its successful satellite launcher programme, Black Arrow. The new venture would be an entirely commercial exercise. It would see a two-stage rocket launch from underneath a carrier aircraft. The concept would look similar to the US Pegasus system, which uses a former airliner to lift a booster to 40,000ft, before releasing it to make its own way into orbit. SSTL’s ideas are being developed with Virgin Galactic, the company set up by billionaire Sir Richard Branson to take fare-paying passengers on short, weightless hops above the atmosphere. Galactic has a carrier aeroplane, known as White Knight Two. Its primary function will be to lift the space tourists’ rocket plane to its launch altitude. But Galactic also wants to pursue other uses for the White Knight craft, and the idea of using it as a platform to release a British satellite launcher is an appealing one. (Source: BBC)
03 Feb 09. Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) VME, VPX and CompactPCI products for the aerospace and defense market, has announced Cougar, a powerful new radar input and scan converter VME board set. Cougar provides an open standards-based high performance solution for capturing, converting and mixing radar video. Designed for demanding military radar applications, Cougar speeds and simplifies the integration of advanced radar image processing and distribution functionality into deployed embedded systems. “Cougar is a flexible all-in-one solution for high performance radar video acquisition, scan conversion and display,” said Alan McCormick, managing director, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, radar and video group. “Cougar’s proven design and feature-rich software support provides radar systems integra