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Primeur weekly 2019-12-16

Quantum computing

Atos boosts quantum application development through the creation of the first Quantum User Group ...

D-Wave signs agreements with NEC to accelerate commercial quantum computing ...

D-Wave announces promotion of Dr. Alan Baratz to CEO ...

Intel introduces 'Horse Ridge' to enable commercially viable quantum computers ...

Focus on Europe

Europe's largest initiative for excellence in human-centred artificial intelligence opens its headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands ...

HLRS receives two certifications for environmental responsibility ...

Amsterdam knowledge institutes to invest 1 billion euro in Artificial Intelligence ...

Jet de Ranitz appointed as new CEO SURF ...

Lenovo and Intel partner for Vienna Scientific Cluster-4 supercomputer enabling research from climate change to the origin of the Universe ...

Middleware

InfiniteIO wins Vendor Innovation Award at the Channel Partner Insight Channel Innovation Awards 2019 ...

WekaFS selected by Innoviz to accelerate AI for autonomous vehicle innovations ...

Hardware

CoolIT Systems adds experienced manufacturing and supply chain leader ...

Supermicro Second Annual Green Data Centre Report finds opportunity for saving millions in energy costs, and reductions in e-waste ...

GRC expands global footprint by opening operations in India ...

HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand sees major growth on November 2019 TOP500 supercomputers list ...

NII start operation 400 Gbps link to speed up SINET supporting Japan's academic research ...

Applications

CLASS software framework makes Modena smarter in real-life setting ...

NCSA engineers travel to Chilean base data centre and summit for LSST project ...

Global Unichip Corporation uses Cadence digital implementation and signoff flow to deliver advanced-node designs for AI and HPC applications ...

Bonseyes partners with HPC leader Verne Global to power open AI innovation ...

World's largest computing society announces 2019 Fellows ...

Researchers to tackle the mysteries of the AI 'black box' problem ...

Simulations attempt to reconstruct one of the most explosive events in the universe: A neutron star merger ...

The Cloud

Organisations globally select VMware Cloud on AWS as the foundation for their Cloud strategy ...

Pioneering nanotechnology Cloud - nanoHUB - looks to future ...

NCSA engineers travel to Chilean base data centre and summit for LSST project


Photo by Kay Avila.
12 Dec 2019 Urbana-Champaign - Four staff members from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign got the chance to spend a week in La Serena, Chile, this summer, including a day and night spent on an Andean summit. The team traveled over 24 hours to Chile to work on the configuration and setup of local servers for the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project and also got to take in the beautiful surroundings of the La Serena area.

Before departing for the South American country, it was known that security and network engineering expertise were needed for the trip to construct the environment for the equipment involved. Kay Avila, senior security engineer; Andy Loftus, senior system engineer; Corey Eichelberger, network engineer; and Leandro Avila, senior security engineer, came together to carry out the installation of servers responsible for securing the astronomical data, of which 20 TB of which will be transferred to NCSA on a nightly basis.

For a week in late August, the team split their time between the base data centre and a summit in the Andes, in an area known as Cerro Pachón, with an altitude of 2715 meters (almost 9000 feet) above sea level. Due to the elevation, the dry climate, and little cloud cover this area makes a great location for optical sky research.

This makes the Andean peaks, which cross the Atacama Desert, a terrestrial hub for looking deep into the night sky, teeming with research projects that are seeking to understand more about they sky and space. During the group's downtime, for example, they got to check out two other telescopes at the summit, SOAR and Gemini.

At the base data centre, the four staffers carefully made changes to previously installed NCSA equipment and installed new servers that had been shipped down to Chile. The highlight of the week, however, was the work that required a trip to Cerro Pachón. "We took a trip to the summit to review the summit data centre and reviewed the cabling and set-up for the security equipment on the summit", stated Kay Avila.

The mountaintop features a hotel for the researchers that frequently travel to and from the summit. Getting up to that highpoint, however, was no easy feat. The site has strict rules for what times of day one can go up the mountain due to the high traffic from people coming down in the afternoon combined with the narrow road. "We were delayed at the gate for about an hour before we even could drive up to the summit and after you start going it’s close to a two hour drive", stated Kay Avila. "Going down was a lot quicker than going up", stated Corey Eichelberger.

"We were surprised by the light pollution from La Serena", added Kay Avila. Rules are so strict that the summit hotel had specific rules on when guests could have the hallway lights on, as to not disrupt the critical work at hand. "We assumed different people would be waking up at various hours and working, that was different from a normal hotel", stated Kay Avila.

The telescope, which is currently under construction atop Cerro Pachón, will start operations on October 1, 2022. NCSA will also work in part with IN2P3 in France to process the telescope's data and images. These images - and the data within them - will be captured by the camera inside the telescope, which is the largest digital camera in human history.

Current technology can only take an image of the entire visible sky every 15 nights. With LSST, a picture of the entire visible sky will be produced every three nights, resulting in the largest catalog of astronomical objects, and their paths of travel, in the world. "It's taking pictures of the night sky better than ever before", stated Corey Eichelberger.

It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the night sky while sitting upon a mountaintop. Andy Loftus, Corey Eichelberger, and the Avilas found themselves basking in the moonlight and capturing photos of the sky to remember the experience.

But even through all this activity, the night sky remains the main attraction for visitors to the mountain. At every hour of the night, various groups of astronomers and engineers can be found working on a plethora of projects, ranging from groundbreaking research to monitoring networks and addressing cyberinfrastructure problems, respectively, all because of this amazing location, one of the most important in the world for looking beyond Earth.

Source: National Center for Supercomputing Applications - NCSA

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2019-12-16

Quantum computing

Atos boosts quantum application development through the creation of the first Quantum User Group ...

D-Wave signs agreements with NEC to accelerate commercial quantum computing ...

D-Wave announces promotion of Dr. Alan Baratz to CEO ...

Intel introduces 'Horse Ridge' to enable commercially viable quantum computers ...

Focus on Europe

Europe's largest initiative for excellence in human-centred artificial intelligence opens its headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands ...

HLRS receives two certifications for environmental responsibility ...

Amsterdam knowledge institutes to invest 1 billion euro in Artificial Intelligence ...

Jet de Ranitz appointed as new CEO SURF ...

Lenovo and Intel partner for Vienna Scientific Cluster-4 supercomputer enabling research from climate change to the origin of the Universe ...

Middleware

InfiniteIO wins Vendor Innovation Award at the Channel Partner Insight Channel Innovation Awards 2019 ...

WekaFS selected by Innoviz to accelerate AI for autonomous vehicle innovations ...

Hardware

CoolIT Systems adds experienced manufacturing and supply chain leader ...

Supermicro Second Annual Green Data Centre Report finds opportunity for saving millions in energy costs, and reductions in e-waste ...

GRC expands global footprint by opening operations in India ...

HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand sees major growth on November 2019 TOP500 supercomputers list ...

NII start operation 400 Gbps link to speed up SINET supporting Japan's academic research ...

Applications

CLASS software framework makes Modena smarter in real-life setting ...

NCSA engineers travel to Chilean base data centre and summit for LSST project ...

Global Unichip Corporation uses Cadence digital implementation and signoff flow to deliver advanced-node designs for AI and HPC applications ...

Bonseyes partners with HPC leader Verne Global to power open AI innovation ...

World's largest computing society announces 2019 Fellows ...

Researchers to tackle the mysteries of the AI 'black box' problem ...

Simulations attempt to reconstruct one of the most explosive events in the universe: A neutron star merger ...

The Cloud

Organisations globally select VMware Cloud on AWS as the foundation for their Cloud strategy ...

Pioneering nanotechnology Cloud - nanoHUB - looks to future ...