Press Release

NASA to Showcase Science and Technology Advancements at Supercomputing Conference

By SpaceRef Editor
November 7, 2017
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Scientists and engineers from four NASA centers and partner organizations across the U.S. will present their latest research results enabled by agency supercomputers, along with new computational services and innovative tools, at SC17, the international high-performance computing conference, Nov. 13 to 16 in Denver, Colorado.
NASA’s exhibit will showcase more than 35 mission projects that benefit from the agency’s high-performance computing resources. These include the following:
Complex aerodynamic flow simulations of multi-rotor unmanned air vehicles of the future, commonly called drones.
Ultra-high-resolution simulations to improve prediction of Earth’s global weather and climate patterns.
New high-fidelity simulation capabilities to accurately predict shock waves and potential damage from meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere.
Attendees will also learn about interactive visualizations that provide deeper insights into the Sun’s magnetic field cycle and cutting-edge modeling and simulation capabilities for designing new heat shields that will protect astronauts on future space missions to Mars and beyond.
NASA experts will discuss hardware and software technology advances at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing, or NAS, facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, and the NASA Center for Climate Simulation, or NCCS, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The NAS facility increased its high-performance computing capability with its new, energy-efficient Electra supercomputer, a 78,336-core modular system running at 4.78 petaflops peak speed and power usage effectiveness scores ranging from 1.025 to 1.027. The increased computing power is needed to support the modeling and simulation requirements of NASA missions in aeronautics, exploration and science.
Electra comprises two modules located adjacent to the main facility housing the Pleiades supercomputer (245,536 cores and 7.24 petaflops peak performance). Simulations run on these systems enable innovations in the design of cleaner, quieter aircraft and improve the understanding of Earth and our solar system. The NAS’s new interactive visualization tools allow scientists to explore multi-petabyte datasets in unprecedented detail.
The NCCS will soon increase the performance of its Discover supercomputer by more than 40 percent, bringing it to a total of nearly 108,000 cores and a peak speed of just over 5 petaflops. This update will enable global weather simulations at one-kilometer and finer resolutions, providing a glimpse at future weather prediction and analysis capabilities. The NCCS also boosted NASA’s Earth science big data efforts by deploying an OpenStack cloud in a data center container.
Demonstrations at NASA’s booth #1543 will represent four NASA locations: Ames Research Center; Goddard Space Flight Center; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California; and Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia; along with university and corporate partners.
Media who wish to schedule on-site interviews should contact Kimberly Minafra at, or 650-224-4027.
Get more data on NASA’s participation in SC17 at:

SpaceRef staff editor.