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The Bloodhound Will Stay On the Ground At 1,000 mph

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the oscillation-overthruster dept.

Intel 242

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that engineers designing the world's fastest car, the Bloodhound SSC, built to smash the world land speed record of 763 mph set by the Thrust SuperSonic Car in 1997, believe they have a solution to keep the vehicle flat on the ground at 1,000 mph after initial iterations of the car's aerodynamic shape produced dangerous amounts of lift at the vehicle's rear. John Piper, Bloodhound's technical director, said: 'We've had lift as high as 12 tonnes, and when you consider the car is six-and-a-half tonnes at its heaviest — that amount of lift is enough to make the car fly.' The design effort has been aided by project sponsor Intel, who brought immense computing power to bear on the lift problem. Before Intel's intervention, the design team had worked through 11 different 'architectures' in 18 months. The latest modelling work run on Intel's network investigated 55 configurations in eight weeks. By playing with the position and shape of key elements of the car's rear end, the design team found the best way to manage the shockwave passing around and under the vehicle as it goes supersonic. 'At Mach 1.3, we've close to zero lift, which is where we wanted to be,' says Piper. In late 2011, the Bloodhound, powered by a rocket bolted to a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine, will mount an assault on the land speed record, driving across a dried up lakebed known as Hakskeen Pan, in the Northern Cape of South Africa."

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But what happens when... (3, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505940)

Righto, time to ask the serious questions! But what happens when they hit 88 miles per hour?

that's fucking lame... (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505958)

What's wrong with Americans? They don't like cinema: they pretend to like it but only absolute turds get to the top of the box office.

Let's See: Avatar, Alice, ... who could want to see that? Ah yes, it's 3D. Well I've got 2 words for that: "fuck off".
3d is only a way to polish a turd, it doesn't make it like Ambrosy.

and the way you pretend to be offended by any allusion to sex whilst putting guns in the hands of kids is disgusting.

Discuss.

Re:that's fucking lame... (-1, Offtopic)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506028)

Ok, sure. Avatar is the white guilt fantasy. You not only get to become the oppressed Other, but become the most important and revered member of the Other, effectively gaining full membership but only increasing the privilege you currently receive. I object to call the 3D a polished turd, however. From end to end, it was really well done, and in entirely another class from the "going native good, capitalism bad, sustainable good" mores implicated by the plot. Anti-capitalization and anti-imperialism are good mores, but the idea that they should be lead by a member of the group committing them is sad. Alice, on the other hand, IS a polished turd. The mores are PRO Orientalism and PRO conquest Imperialism, and the 3D effects are shit tier, 3 levels of depth and so many cuts it looks like the MTV shit that spawned it. Try to count the seconds between cuts in most scenes of this movie, or better yet, number of cuts vs number of lines delivered The actors probably didn't even have to remember a single line in advance.

Re:that's fucking lame... (0, Offtopic)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506206)

Yea, ok, it's sure as HELL offtopic. But ALL TRUE>

Re:that's fucking lame... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506132)

you're just mad because Europeans have a bad sense of humor...

Re:But what happens when... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506070)

Righto, time to ask the serious questions! But what happens when they hit 88 miles per hour?

Accelerating or decelerating?

Re:But what happens when... (4, Funny)

drb_chimaera (879110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506214)

Dude, in factors of 88mph this thing goes to 11 ;)

Re:But what happens when... (1)

Laser_iCE (1125271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506412)

It's not what happens when it hits 88 ... it's when it drops under 50 that you should be watching.

Re:But what happens when... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506434)

You're gonna see some serious shit..

Easier solution (4, Funny)

Jeoh (1393645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505942)

Why don't they make it drive on a treadmill?

Re:Easier solution (5, Insightful)

PhongUK (1301747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505982)

They would have to then engineer a treadmill that can move the belt at 1000MPH, a wind machine that can blow wind at 1000MPH so that the Bloodhounds engines get the intake that it needs. They would then likely have to take care of all the exhaust gasses... ... AND IT WOULDN'T BE AS COOL!

Re:Easier solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506072)

And that wind machine would still generate the lift, throwing the machine into the ceiling. :)

Re:Easier solution (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506418)

There is a high tech solution for that, it's called a "strap".

Re:Easier solution (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506728)

AND IT WOULDN'T BE AS COOL!

Says the guy whom never got together with his drunken buddies, turned a treadmill up all the way, dropped stuff on the belt, and watched it fly thru the air and crashland. If you prop up the end, a 15 MPH treadmill can launch a pumpkin surprisingly far. Not as far as one of those "pumpkin chucking compressed air gun" things, but still plenty of fun. One empty beer can launched through space is "eh". A couple dozen, simultaneously, is much louder, visually impressive, and funny. Especially if your buddies just consumed them and we're all quite drunken.

A treadmill with a (mostly) worn out belt is still plenty of fun.

Turn the speed up from 15 to 1000 MPH, add a 1000 MPH wind machine, make sure you don't run out of beer, and you're pretty much in "high tech redneck" heaven. It would be perfection if only you could add a rocket or jet engine, oh wait, you do have one, in the "car"!

Re:Easier solution (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506252)

Since it's a jet engine (pushing against the air), it would be the old "Plane on a treadmill" problem. Meaning it would drive off the treadmill.

Re:Easier solution (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506454)

A jet engine does not "push against the air". It's a reaction drive that depends on Newton's third law: "For every force there is an equal and opposite reaction." The force in question is the exhaust of the jet and rocket engines being accelerated out the back of the car.

Re:Easier solution (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506540)

A rocket engine works like you explained. A jet engine still uses air pressure as a "pillow to push against".

Re:Easier solution (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506644)

A rocket engine works like you explained. A jet engine still uses air pressure as a "pillow to push against".

Interesting engineering question. If the jet engine depends on having air to push against, how can it go past Mach 1? Can air "push" faster than the speed of sound?

Re:Easier solution (4, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506870)

The air it ejects backwards moves way faster than Mach 1 relatively to the engine. The momentum of ejected material must be higher than momentum of intake material. With rockets, there's no intake material, and it depends strictly on ejecting most of its mass backwards. Speed is a boon but even ejecting the mass slower than the speed of surrounding air (or near-void) gives it thrust.

With jet, the momentum of air at the intake (which is zero, immobile air) must be lower than exhaust mix ejected backwards, and considering the mass of the jet fuel used is quite low comparing to mass of air used, the mass of the exhaust gas is not significantly higher than mass of intake air, so it must use higher speed to achieve higher momentum and thus thrust - so no matter how fast the plane moves, exhaust gas always moves backwards relative to static air - thus pushes against static air and as result creates a pressure pillow.

Re:Easier solution (3, Interesting)

stiggle (649614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506504)

Its a jet engine pushing it up towards 1000mph, but its a solid fuelled rocket (liquid oxidiser) that pushes it over.
A lot of their design towards the end of last year was deciding whether to put the Jet over Rocket (JoR) or Rocket over Jet (RoJ) in the tail of the vehicle.

They decided on the JoR configuration as it provided better stability & airflow through the jet.

This project is also about getting kids interested in engineering again, and they're making their data publicly available.

They've been touring with the full size model of the car visiting towns doing workshops with the school kids about the stuff they're doing and experiments & tests the kids can do themselves. They were kind enough to park the car outside my office when they were in my home town.

Roosevelt said: (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505944)

"Speed, more speed". And then: "You ain't seen nothing yet". Ha !

I'm debating if this thing really counts as a car. (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505966)

Seriously, you rip the wings off of a fighter jet and make it stay on the ground does it become a car? To really be a "car" I would almost argue it needs to be propelled by the wheels.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (2)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505998)

Aside from the fact that that is a different world record in itself, I would like to point you to TFA which goes to great lengths to explain to complexity of even keeping this thing on the ground, so it's hardly some trivial feat.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (3, Insightful)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506640)

That has nothing to do with the fact that this simply isn't a car. It's a rocket/jet with wheels attached. Just because a plane has wheels doesn't make it a car either. Yes, it's very difficult (to understate the issue) to keep any object traveling 1000 mph on the ground, but that doesn't negate the GP's point. It's not a car. It's not designed like a car would be, it's not propelled like a car would be, and it's not driven like a car would be.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506778)

It's not a car. It's not designed like a car would be

And that is precisely why Lamborghini and Ferrari have decided to stay at home for this one, and McLaren also sent in their regrets (they had other plans that day, TBH).

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (2, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506078)

Please do remember that, originally, "car" was any vehicle drawn by animals.

Motor cars weren't (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506144)

Motor carriage -> motor car -> car.

Horse drawn carriages were never called cars AFAIK. Though oddly railway carriages were.

Then of course there were carts.

Re:Motor cars weren't (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506568)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile#Etymology [wikipedia.org]

The...name car is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the Middle English word carre ("cart") (from Old North French), or karros (a Gallic wagon).

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506114)

Since most fighter jets, even wingless, would come off the ground at 1000 mph, the answer is yes.

I don't think it does (3, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506170)

The only thing it has in common with a car is that it has wheels and runs on the ground. Given its size and weight it would be more accurate to call it a jet powered truck.

IMO the real land speed record is the wheel driven ones , not the one where you just strap a huge rocket on the back and try and stay on the ground.

Re:I don't think it does (3, Interesting)

hanabal (717731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506460)

If this works it will be travelling across the land with a higher speed than anything that has ever travelled across the land, hence the title "land speed record". I agree with you that the wheel powered one is in some ways more important, but something has to be declared fastest land vehicle and it seems fitting for it to be the fastest vehicle on the land. If Fred Flinstone could run fast enough to make his car faster than any other car in history, would you deny him the land speed record?

Re:I don't think it does (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506636)

his record would be in doubt. look at the video of his record. Notice how the background seems to keep repeating over and over again.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506182)

Depends on if it's a fixed aero-surface vehicle or not. F1 cars had variable surface aero-parts for one or two years before they were outright banned. The idea was that you could increase the angle of attack to increase downpressure in the corners, but make the car aerodynamically neutral in the straightaways so you're spending more power on thrust rather than dividing it between thrust and downforce. Depending on how the rules for "world's fastest car" are written, how the aero is done determines how impressive this really is. If John Carmack can write a javascript to control thrust for a vertical takeoff rocket (Armadillo Aerospace), you can design a fast car with dynamic aerosurfaces. Building a fixed aero car that's neutral at 1000mph but won't fly into the air and flip when you hit a rock is a lot harder to do. Check out this hella sweet video of a Le Mans car doing exactly that at 220mph: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM4guvo6Ifo [youtube.com]
 
I'll admit this post was an excuse to post that video, but damn if it isn't cool. And that's at a quarter of the speed at which they'll be attempting this. It's not as easy as it looks.

Here's another cool video of the same thing happening. It's relatively common, even though they design against this exact sort of thing from happening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y65oUlBMSUs [youtube.com]

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506316)

Yeah I think they should build it as a ground effect aircraft with non-load bearing wheels which reach down to the ground to make it technically a car.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506352)

Those were cool videos.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506438)

What they need to build is a car that can do that at the touch of a button and land on all 4 wheels.. kind of like in Speed Racer. Entirely pointless, but it would be fun on a victory lap!

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506594)

I remember watching an F1 race where just before the finish line the guy in second place does a 360deg flip lands on his wheels then rolls across the finish line still in secind place. I love youtube, took me 5 minutes to find it at 2:13 on this compilation [youtube.com] .

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506730)

Its supersonic... so active areo would work different if at all.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506768)

>>Depending on how the rules for "world's fastest car" are written, how the aero is done determines how impressive this really is.

I guess. Even the world's fastest car will be doing between 0 and 10MPH in Los Angeles traffic if it can't fly.

I just don't see the point to taking an airplane, putting it on wheels, and spending effort trying to get it not to fly when it's doing 1000MPH.

Why not just get a supersonic fighter and have it tow a little unicycle along the salt flats?

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506304)

But isn't the whole point to break a landspeed record? Surely you could even compete if you fitted a wheelchair with rockets? Or how about a submarine?
Oh, that would be one hell of a sight, a submarine going across land at 1000mph.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506444)

that would be one hell of a sight, a submarine going across land at 1000mph.

My vote is on a Blue Whale. Technically it could also count as the driver.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506496)

I'm am suddenly thinking of the Christopher Moore book called Fluke, or I know why the winged whale sings. Seriously, it will make you look at whales differently from now on.

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506462)

I'm sorry, but after changes in the FIA and FIM rules between 1963 - 64 [wikipedia.org] , the only thing it needs to qualify as a 'car' for the purpose of making a stab at the absolute land speed record is four wheels or more. Less than four wheels and it's a motorcycle.

There is however a seperate record for wheel driven cars [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506560)

Does it even matter?

Does it have to be a car to break the land speed record, or will any land vehicle do? If it's the latter, then this thing fits the bill and that's what matters.

Intel FPU? (2, Funny)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31505974)

Who in their right mind would trust an Intel FPU with their life?

Yeah, it may look like a troll, but some of us remember the FDIV bug.

Every billion, or so, calculations might be wrong, but, since you never know WHICH is wrong in an application, it must be assumed that they ALL are.

Re:Intel FPU? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506024)

If there was a bug, it's unlikely the final result would make sense. "It would go fastest with the engine in the ground!", or "it would go fastest with the engine backwards!". With that many calculations, one error would be magnified.

Re:Intel FPU? (3, Informative)

alanw (1822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506120)

If there was a bug, it's unlikely the final result would make sense. "It would go fastest with the engine in the ground!", or "it would go fastest with the engine backwards!". With that many calculations, one error would be magnified.

A floating point conversion error caused an Ariane 5 rocket to explode back in 1996

http://www.ima.umn.edu/~arnold/disasters/ariane.html [umn.edu]

Re:Intel FPU? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506612)

I'd consider that evidence supporting my assertion. A minor bug caused a pretty obvious error in the software's output. In this case the output was rocket motion, in the bloodhound's case the software's output is only the design of the vehicle. A similar bug at the design stage should be just as obvious (e.g. "The wings should be minus 3000 meters long!") and not result in loss of life.

Re:Intel FPU? (2, Informative)

yams (637038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506812)

I don't think this has anything to do with floating point errors. From your linked article:

Specifically a 64 bit floating point number relating to the horizontal velocity of the rocket with respect to the platform was converted to a 16 bit signed integer. The number was larger than 32,767, the largest integer storeable in a 16 bit signed integer, and thus the conversion failed.

I would interpret this as:

Some moron typecast a double to an int without thinking about allowable ranges

In other words, it is a coding error.

Re:Intel FPU? (2, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506046)

On stuff like this, you make damned sure your calculations are verifiable. That said, the dynamics of the sound barrier are so complex that I think the chances are their models will not be good enough and some fool will end up as landscape to prove it.

Re:Intel FPU? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506354)

It's okay, they're checking the calculations with pencil and paper afterwards.

Re:Intel FPU? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506770)

Yeah, cos when a company fucks up like that, it's not like they ever learn anything from it, and that company remains static for the rest of it's existence in this respect.

It is doomed to repeat these expensive costly mistakes, and would never do anything to rectify them.

Seriously, you think a 16 year old bug is in any way relevant to Intel's modern line of chips where processes, architecture, and methods have changed drastically? You realise that AMD wasn't even building their own design chips until 1996 and was just producing reverse engineered Intel clones? It was only 1997 that Cyrix was consumed by VIA too. 16 years is such a long time in the processor world, because things have changed so much in that time, that a bug that old is utterly irrelevant to the quality and trusworthiness or lack of of modern Intel chips.

What a fracking waste!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506002)

I thought we were all waiting for cars that fly. What a terrible waste of money, time and resources!!!

Re:What a fracking waste!!! (1)

PhongUK (1301747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506034)

Yeah, do we actually make any technological gain from this? Is there any new technology at work here?

And for the rest of the world... (5, Informative)

iJusten (1198359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506018)

763 mph=1 228 km/h
1000 mph=1609 km/h

Re:And for the rest of the world... (4, Funny)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506050)

Those are both wuss units. Real physicists measure speed in metres per second.

Re:And for the rest of the world... (1)

iJusten (1198359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506110)

You mean kilometres per second.

Re:And for the rest of the world... (3, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506162)

That's the same unit. kilometers per second is kilo (1000s of) meters per second. The kilo part is an SI prefix, not part of the unit. Just like kilobytes means 1000s of bytes and kilograms means 1000s of grammes.

Bob

Re:And for the rest of the world... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506384)

Just like kilobytes means 1000s of bytes

I just knew somebody would have to open that can of worms.

Re:And for the rest of the world... (4, Funny)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506526)

I;m sure there is an equivalent of Godwin's Law for stories related to science or technology, regarding the correct size of the kilobyte.
Until someone names it though, remember that Hitler would have supported decimal kilobytes :)

Re:And for the rest of the world... (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506456)

Just like kilobytes means 1000s of bytes

WRONG 'bytes' is NOT a SI unit, so the SI naming simply DOES NOT APPLY. a kilobyte is exactly 1024 bytes, not more, not less.

Re:And for the rest of the world... (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506582)

That's not what the IEEE or ISO say ;)

Re:And for the rest of the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506670)

Except that grams actually mean 0.001s of kilograms. Kilo is part of the unit there. Why they don't call it a millikilogram escapes me.

Re:And for the rest of the world... (2, Informative)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506116)

Or in furlongs per shake ( flg / sh ). 1000 mph = 8,991092 * 10E12 flg / sh

Re: Real Physicists (2, Funny)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506130)

redshift.

Re:And for the rest of the world... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506134)

Or hertz per diopter [google.ca]

Re:And for the rest of the world... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506280)

1.31 Mach.

So... would a Star Wars Landspeeder not qualify? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506032)

It seems to me there's something silly about the requirement of a physical connection to the ground. No one would argue that Luke Skywalker's land speeder wasn't a 'land based' vehicle -- and yet (if it existed) it would not qualify for the land-speed record by the rules currently set forth.

Today's hovercraft are not "airships" per se. I would argue that an 'association' to the ground, and a strict limitation in terms of altitude still qualifies as ground based.

Re:So... would a Star Wars Landspeeder not qualify (1)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506140)

Hovercraft, which are neither land nor aircraft, are a 3rd category.

Yeah, right (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506188)

By your definition someone could break the land speed record by just flying a jet fighter at very low level.

"Today's hovercraft are not "airships" per se"

No , they're hovercrafts, not cars or ships.

Don't they realise what they've done?! (5, Funny)

krou (1027572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506048)

"that amount of lift is enough to make the car fly"

At last!

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (1)

ImYourVirus (1443523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506096)

Almost anything will fly with a rocket attached to it...

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506126)

Especially, a rocket.

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (1)

PhongUK (1301747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506154)

Unless the rocket doesn't have enough thrust to lift itself.

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (2, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506184)

Then attach another rocket.

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506240)

or move to a planet with lower gravity

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506398)

But how do you get there?

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506286)

It will, you just need to start off high enough. And it will fly downwards.

Re:Don't they realise what they've done?! (4, Funny)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506754)

That's not flying. It's falling, with style.

Tsutomu's aerodynamic cellular automaton (2, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506226)

You all must remember Tsutomu Shimomura, who enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame as a result of nabbing Ub3r-H4x0r Kevin Mitnick. Tsutomu and I were good friends at Caltech back in the early 80s. We were both "Scurves", or members of Ricketts House.

Tsutomu never actually got his degree. I have long lost touch with him, so I don't know whether he ever went back to school, but at least for many years he was working as a research physicist with no degree of any sort. Not even a BS. I actually got better grades than he did. The reason Tsutomu didn't do so well is school was that he was spending all his time publishing original research.

Anyway, Tsutomu got hired away from Caltech by Los Alamos National Laboratory. His first project there was a cellular automaton implemented in hardware. It was a massively parallel computer, with each "processor" implementing the operation of a single cell. The first cellular automaton was the well-known Conway's Game of Life, but there are many other kinds. Some cellular automata are designed to solve specific kinds of problems. In Tsutomu's case, he was simulating supersonic fluid flow, for use in designing fighter planes, reentry vehicles and the like.

He described his device as "About as expensive as a Cray, but it solves just that one problem at a thousand times the speed of a Cray".

I don't have a link or a literature reference for you. I don't know whether he published an unclassified paper about it, but if he did it shouldn't be hard to dig up.

Re:Tsutomu's aerodynamic cellular automaton (1, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506468)

My bullshit detector is tingeling quit a bit in your post.

He hasnt published anything even near that direction.
He isnt mentioned or documented in even working in that field.

If he really did a breakthrough that was so top secret they have it still confidential 20+ years later, than why did he tell YOU?

I take it back (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506490)

Damn, thats emberassing. got the wrong person...

He did work on cellular automatism for fluid dynamics, but that whole field was just a stopgap that never went anywhere.
The quote you said is pretty telling. 1000 times the speed of a cray isnt really much at all, especially for algorithms poured into custom hardware.

Back in those days it was (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506784)

This was around 1985. To be able to build a computer for ten million dollars that solved a particularly important problem a thousand times as fast as a ten million dollar general-purpose computer would be a significant achievement.

As for telling me stuff that ought to have been top secret... you don't know Tsutomu. I wouldn't dream of accusing him of any kind of crime, but he did like to brag about what a cool frood he was.

Re:Tsutomu's aerodynamic cellular automaton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506478)

Wow! This is a classic example of an off-topic post. Maybe it is modded interesting because the original article is so damn boring.

Re:Tsutomu's aerodynamic cellular automaton (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506718)

>>I don't have a link or a literature reference for you. I don't know whether he published an unclassified paper about it, but if he did it shouldn't be hard to dig up.

Sounds kind of like a transputer. I think they even used it to run Conway's game of life.

Re:Tsutomu's aerodynamic cellular automaton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506786)

Cool Story Bro

1000mph (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506230)

I guess that at 1000mph, anything can fly.

Re:1000mph (1)

Galik (730522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506298)

I expect at 1000mph gravity hardly has tome to bother.

Re:1000mph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31506494)

At 1000 mph I'm not so sure, but at 1609 Km/h it will certainly fly.

British space program failure (4, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506258)

Once again it fails to get off the ground.

In all seriousness... (2, Insightful)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506272)

Anybody knows the point of this?

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

Ranzear (1082021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506414)

The real tricky bit is going to be proving that it isn't flying once it gets up to speed.

Re:In all seriousness... (2, Interesting)

Brian the Bold (82101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506684)

Yes.

Because records are always increased with time, because it can be done.

Bloodhound SSC is a project designed to showcase British engineering capabilities and talent and to enthuse and encourage the next generations of engineers who are currently at school and have not yet decided what they want to do for a career.

Have a look at the project web site, all the information is there.

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/ [bloodhoundssc.com]

Re:In all seriousness... (2, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506862)

1. Take rocket
2. Place it horizontal instead of vertical
3. ???
4. Profit!

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506876)

I'm still waiting for a commercially available supersonic commuter car. With the Bloodhound, I could get to work in 1.5 minutes.

Hitch Hikers (1)

Galik (730522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506288)

This just has to be bad news for hitch-hikers.

Translation to standard units (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506474)

What they really mean is that the current land speed record is 1227 Km/h and they're trying to reach 1609 Km/h. Now, that's better.

A solution, at last. (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506522)

Finally - no more of those long, boring police chase videotapes coming out of L.A.

Just "This is Action 4 News enroute to a reported car chase on the I-TABOOOOOM....what the hell was that?"

Holy hell seatbelted to a nuclear warhead (2, Funny)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31506674)

This story made me think of the phrase "not enough of him left to fill a matchbox".

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