But PSAAP's advances in quantifying uncertainty have other, far broader implications, Alonso said.
PSAAP researchers run their simulations on supercomputers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.
To run their simulations, the PSAAP researchers use an open-source dataset called HyShot 2.
For PSAAP, modeling the unstart phenomenon requires a clear understanding of the physics and then reproducing mathematically the immensely complex interactions that occur at hypersonic speeds, which explains why researchers from various backgrounds are working together on the project.
That need will only increase over the next decade as supercomputers move toward the exascale--computers with a million or more processors able to execute a quintillion calculations in a single second, said Patrick Hanrahan, a Stanford computer science professor who's also at work on the PSAAP project.