Welcome “Desch”

The Air Force Research Lab on Monday held a ceremony at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to dedicate a new supercomputer called “Desch” that will be dedicated to supporting the lab’s work with next-generation overhead intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance sensors. Desch will help provide real-time translation of synthetic aperture radar data from the lab’s experimental Gotcha radar system into high-resolution 3-D video images. Dave Jerome, director of the AFRL’s Sensors Directorate, said the goal is “to provide an extremely high-fidelity, all-weather” ISR capability “that can observe activity over an entire city.” Silicon Graphics built Desch, which is named after Joseph Desch, who led a team that built a computing machine during World War II to decipher messages encrypted with the Nazi Enigma code. The new Desch is currently listed as No. 308 on the official list of the 500 fastest computers in the world, according to AFRL. (Wright-Patterson report by Derek Kaufman)