Pawsey Powerhouse Supercomputer Crunches Pre-SKA Data Torrent
High-performance computing specialists from Perth’s International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) today became the first users of one of Australia’s leading supercomputing facilities – the Pawsey Centre – ahead of its official opening later this year.
The recent launch of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) – a radio telescope based in Western Australia’s Mid West – marked the start of an impressive flow of astronomical data that will be stored in the iVEC-managed Pawsey Centre in Kensington for later use by researchers around the world.
“We now have more than 400 megabytes per second of MWA data streaming along the National Broadband Network from the desert 800km away,” said Professor Andreas Wicenec, from The University of Western Australia node of ICRAR.
“To store the Big Data the MWA produces, you’d need almost three 1TB hard drives every two hours,” said Prof Wicenec. “The technical challenge isn’t just in saving the observations but how you then distribute them to astronomers from the MWA team in far-flung places so they can start using it.”