US Air Force Gets Powerful Supercomputing Technology

The heart of the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) is the “Discover” supercomputer. In 2009, NCCS added more than 8,000 computer processors to Discover, for a total of nearly 15,000 processors. 
Credit: NASA/Pat Izzo To learn more about NCCS go to: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

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The US Air Force uses weather intelligence, across atmospheric and solar data, when delivering ongoing alerts, analyses and forecasts to U.S. defense missions worldwide to help military aircraft mitigate weather conditions and achieve readiness. 

A new supercomputer will support the US Air Force meteorology division, for R&D on new weather forecasting capabilities. The new system will be 6.5X faster than its existing system at a peak performance of 7.2 petaflops (petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second). The system introduces new forecasting capabilities to aid military aircraft planning and execution of missions worldwide.

Powered by the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cray EX supercomputers and now operational at the U.S. Department of Energy, the new system supports weather modeling and forecasting projects.

The system comprises two supercomputers that their combination allows larger computations at a higher resolution, increasing accuracy in global weather simulations from 17 kilometers between model grid points to 10 kilometers. 

The end-to-end technologies made possible by the supercomputer will enable greater speed and dedicated performance to advance simulations in weather forecasting that were never made possible before.

The system’s new levels of performance and combined advancements will enable the U.S. Air Force, in collaboration with ORNL’s Computational Earth Sciences Division, to introduce completely new forecasting capabilities over the next several years to make breakthroughs in forecast stream flow, flooding, or inundation to predict how much of a given land will be submerged in water and the level of its depth. It will also support remote sensing of a cloud-covered area to address how to navigate impacted missions through forecasting the formation, growth and precipitation of atmospheric clouds, according to the company’s announcement.