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World's Biggest Telescope Meets World's Second-Fastest Supercomputer

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China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer.

A prototype part of the software system to manage data from the Square Kilometre Array telescope has run on Tianhe-2, the world's second-fastest supercomputer.

Credit: Yutong Lu

A prototype component of the software system that will manage data from the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope has run on China's Tianhe-2, currently the world's second-fastest supercomputer.

When the system is complete, it will process raw observations of distant stars and galaxies and convert them into a form that can be analyzed by astronomers around the world.

The successful deployment of the prototype science data processor execution framework on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer was conducted by an international team led by professor Tao An from Shanghai Astronomical Observatory in China and professor Andreas Wicenec from the University of Western Australia.

The execution framework provides the control and monitoring environment to execute millions of tasks, consuming and producing millions of data items on many thousands of individual computers.

Wicenec says the novel execution framework of the science data processor is "data activated," which means individual data items are wrapped in an active piece of software that automatically triggers the applications needed to process it.

"The next step is to ramp up the number of individual items we're deploying and then increase the number of compute nodes to what we are expecting for the SKA computer, which is about 8,500," An says.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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