NASA ramps up weather research with supercomputer cluster

NASA’s triples performance of Discover IBM cluster

NASA's Center for Computational Sciences is nearly tripling the performance of a supercomputer it uses to simulate Earth's climate and weather, and our planet's relationship with the Sun.

NASA is deploying a 67-teraflop machine that takes advantage of IBM's iDataPlex servers, new rack-mount products originally developed to serve heavily trafficked social networking sites. The servers use an innovative design that saves on power and cooling costs by placing the servers sideways and using a liquid-cooled rear-door heat exchanger.

At NASA, scientists are integrating the iDataPlex cluster with an existing system, resulting in the addition of 1,024 quad-core Intel Xeon processors and raising performance capabilities from 25 to 67 teraflops (trillion calculations per second).

The supercomputer, known as "Discover," is being used to project Earth's climate over the next century; analyze global weather observations taken by satellite; model solar activity and how it affects weather and communications; and simulate the merging of black holes and formation of solar systems, according to IBM.

"By nearly tripling Discover's performance, NASA scientists will be able to run models with higher resolution and greater fidelity to the underlying physical phenomena," NASA Center for Computational Sciences project manager Dr. Phil Webster says in an IBM press release.

The upgraded Discover, which became available to NASA's users on September 4, is not the space agency's most powerful computer. For example, the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Facility operates a 245-teraflop machine and another with 89.2 teraflops. But NASA plans to at least double the processor count in the iDataPlex portion of the Discover computer in 2009.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags NASA

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?