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VISC awarded $1.2-million grant

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 34 - June 27, 1996

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently awarded $1.2 million in grants and contracts to electrical engineering faculty members at the Virginia Tech Information Systems Center (VISC) for three computer systems research projects.

The goal of one project is to develop run-time reconfigurable (RTR) environments for an emerging technology called configurable computing. VISC researcher Peter Athanas said RTR platforms are expected to provide higher computational performance to address the "grand-challenge" computing problems faced by the DOD, industry and commercial entities.

Athanas and Brad Hutchings of Brigham Young University, principal investigators for the three-year project, will develop an approach for design, construction and programming of RTR systems to enable more people to use the technology.

VISC researchers Jim Armstrong, Gail Gray, and Walling Cyre are conducting the two other projects for the U.S. Air Force Wright Laboratories.

Armstrong, director of the VISC, said the Air Force wants to update existing computer systems instead of replacing them. This project will involve developing a new model for the existing systems' hardware.

For the third project, VISC researchers will develop computer-accessible training programs for Air Force contract and procurement agents to help them better understand the computer hardware they order.

Both of the Air Force projects are funded for two years.