Linux Is Launchpad For Boeing's Simulations - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Linux Is Launchpad For Boeing's Simulations

Defense contractor turns to low-cost systems to test Delta IV rocket

When Boeing successfully launched its Delta IV rocket last month, there was more riding on the event than the $1 billion telecommunications satellite attached to its tip. Also at stake was Boeing's piece of the global launch-services market, a lucrative business opportunity that could help offset some of the company's losses in its commercial airplanes division, which has cut nearly 30,000 jobs since Sept. 11, 2001.


DELTA IV ROCKET PHOTO

Linux helped keep development costs for Delta IV low.
Getting the Delta IV from the launchpad into space required years of design and computational fluid-dynamics testing to understand the impact of flight on the rocket's structure and control system. Aerodynamics engineers with Boeing's Expendable Launch Systems division in Huntington Beach, Calif., used a 96-node cluster of PCs with Advanced Micro Devices 850-MHz Athlon processors running Red Hat Linux, rather than a $500,000 supercomputer, to keep costs low in pursuit of its goal. Linux cluster-management company Linux Networx helped to develop the environment.

"The Linux route was newer and had more risks, but sometimes you have to take some risks," says Scott Ward, the Boeing Delta program's manager of aerodynamics. Ward wouldn't say how much his department paid for the AMD Linux cluster when it was implemented in 2001, but he says it will continue to pay "huge" dividends as Boeing adds nodes to increase computing power.

Boeing plans to launch as many as five Delta IV rockets next year. The next mission will deploy an Air Force Defense Satellite Communication System. Last month's launch carried a telecommunications satellite built by Alcatel Space.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll