The CREATE-GV (ground vehicles) project was recently established to develop physics-based, high performance computing (HPC) tools to enhance ground vehicle concept development, inform requirements development, and provide requisite data for trade-space analysis, with an ultimate goal to positively impact cost, schedule, and performance with significant reduction in risk for the acquisition community. The project is developing software tools for analyzing ground vehicle concept designs and the mobility performance of wheeled and tracked ground vehicles, covering manned and unmanned vehicle applications.  The software tools include Mercury and additional supplementary expansion tools that greatly enhance and extend the overall capabilities of Mercury.  These combined tools enable virtual assessment of performance for proving ground and mission-level based mobility requirements and are optimized for producing performance data for use in tradespace analysis, enabling consideration of numerous design trades early and often throughout the acquisition lifecycle.

Mercury is the flagship CREATE-GV product on which the majority of the development efforts are focused.  It is a physics-based co-simulation software tool for simulating proving-ground type developmental performance tests used as acquisition requirements.  Through its co-simulation framework, Mercury integrates physics domains such as vehicle dynamics, powertrain, tire-soil and track-soil interaction, and driver and control models.  It can automatically simulate multiple performance tests such as ride quality, discrete-obstacle shock, soft-soil mobility, sand slope climbing, maximum speed, lane change stability, and circular turn stability.  Mercury utilizes detailed 3-dimensional vehicle models that include component representations for suspension, driveline, powertrain, steering systems, chassis, tires, tracks, and more.  

The Mercury expansion tools include the Mobility Analysis Tool (MAT) and the Ground Vehicle Interface (GVI).  MAT is a model-based computational tool for predicting mission-level mobility performance metrics used as acquisition requirements for a wide variety of terrain conditions, accounting for varied season and weather conditions, and thereby providing the ability to assess suitability of vehicles for missions in multiple regions around the globe that span important terrain types and climatic zones.  GVI is a web-based user interface providing a simplified, intuitive process to launch HPC simulations using Mercury and MAT, produce performance data required for robust tradespace analysis, and enable effective model data management and long-term knowledge reuse.  GVI is accessible through the HPCMP Portal site, which is accessible to HPCMP users via CAC login from any internet access point. 

The CREATE-GV tools have started having impacts in acquisition efforts.  The tools have been used by U.S. Army organizations to explore capabilities emerging from various science and technology investments in ground vehicle component technologies.  They have been used to assess mobility performance of a few U.S. Army and Marine Corps vehicles associated with current ground vehicle acquisition efforts.  The tools have also been used to research new paradigms for ground vehicle tradespace exploration and the potential benefits of set-based design processes as part of assessment of a prototype concept for a new light reconnaissance vehicle.