DOD gets first shared supercomputers for classified research

Members assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Department of Defense leadership cut the ribbon for a new DoD super computer capability located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Feb. 26, 2019. This was the first-ever shared classified DoD high performance computing capability. (Air Force photo)

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The Air Force Research Lab recently unveiled a supercomputing environment for the use of the entire military to conduct classified research.

Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, the new capability consists of four separate supercomputers — the unclassified Mustang, and Voodoo, Shadow and Spectre, which “support higher classification levels.” It’s the first time the entirety of the Department of Defense will have access to such a supercomputing resource, the Air Force says.

“This creates an environment for Air Force, Army, and Navy researchers to quickly respond to our nation’s most pressing and complex challenges, while also accelerating new capabilities to the warfighter at lower level costs to the taxpayer,” Jeff Graham, AFRL DOD Supercomputing Resource Center director, said in a statement. With higher levels of classification, the security needs are greater “to prevent adversaries from leveraging DoD knowledge and expertise,” says a release.

Graham described the new environment as a huge resource for the entire DOD. “The ability to share supercomputers at higher classification levels will allow programs to get their supercomputing work done quickly while maintaining necessary security,” he said. “Programs will not need to spend their budget and waste time constructing their own secure computer facilities, and buying and accrediting smaller computers for short-term work. This new capability will save billions for the DoD while providing additional access to state-of-the-art computing.”

The Air Force is also building out 7,000 square feet of additional space to continue expanding its classified supercomputing capabilities. The facility is one of five DOD Supercomputing Resource Centers, which until this point only operated at the unclassified level providing “DoD scientists and engineers with the resources necessary to efficiently solve the most demanding computational problems.”

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Air Force Research Lab, Department of Defense, DOD, research, Science, supercomputers, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
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