Tech

June 19, 2012

NASA Pleiades supercomputer gets a little more oomph

NASA’s flagship Pleiades supercomputer just received a boost to help keep pace with the intensive number-crunching requirements of scientists and engineers working on some of the agency’s most challenging missions.

Pleiades is critical for the modeling, simulation and analysis of a diverse set of agency projects in aeronautics research, Earth and space sciences and the design and operation of future space exploration vehicles. The supercomputer is located at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

An expansion completed earlier this month has increased Pleiades’ sustained performance rate by 14 percent to 1.24 petaflops – or a quadrillion calculations per second. To put this enormous number into perspective, if everyone in the world did one calculation per second for eight hours a day, it would take about 370 days to complete what this supercomputer can calculate in 60 seconds.

“As we move toward NASA’s next phase in advanced computing, Pleiades must be able to handle the increasing requirements of more than 1,200 users across the country who rely on the system to perform their large, complex calculations,” said Rupak Biswas, chief of the NAS division at Ames. “Right now, for example, the system is being used to improve our understanding of how solar flares and other space weather events can affect critical technologies on Earth. Pleiades also plays a key role in producing high-fidelity simulations used for possible vehicle designs such as NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System.”

Since Pleiades’ installation in 2008, NAS has performed eight major upgrades to the system. The latest expansion adds 24 of the newest generation systems containing advanced processors. More than 65 miles of cabling interconnects Pleiades nodes with data storage systems and the hyperwall-2 visualization system.

Recently, scientists have counted on Pleiades for generating the “Bolshoi” cosmological simulation – the largest simulation of its kind to date – to help explain how galaxies and the large-scale structure of the universe have evolved over billions of years. The system also has proven essential for processing massive amounts of star data gathered from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, leading to the discovery of new Earth-sized planets in the Milky Way galaxy. The upgraded capability of Pleiades will enable NASA scientists to solve challenging problems like these more quickly, using even larger datasets.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 17, 2014

News: Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State - The Pentagon’s top general opened the door Sept. 16 to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama’s still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an...
 
 

News Briefs September 17, 2014

U.S. to assign 3,000 troops to fight Ebola The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak that has overwhelmed local health care systems and drawn appeals for help from the region and aid organizations. The troops will supply medical and logistical support and boost...
 
 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 

 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>