NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center opens in Cheyenne

By: Steve Tuesday October 16, 2012 Tags: Cheyenne, Cheyenne L:ight, Cheyenne LEADS, Fuel & Power, Gov. Matt Mead, NCAR, NSF, Roger Wakimoto, Subra Suresh, Thomas Bogdan, UCAR, William Gern, Yellowstone

NCAR Wyoming Supercomputing logo
CHEYENNE - The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center - housing one of the world's most powerful supercomputers dedicated to the geosciences --opened Monday in Cheyenne.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and universities across the nation are launching a series of initial scientific projects on the NWSC's flagship computer - a 1.5 petaflop IBM supercomputer known as Yellowstone.

The first projects focus on a wide range of Earth science topics, from atmospheric disturbances to subterranean faults, that will eventually help improve predictions of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and other natural hazards.

"The center will help transform our understanding of the natural world in ways that offer enormous benefits to society," said Thomas Bogdan, present of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation.

"Whether it's better understanding tornadoes and hurricanes, or deciphering the forces that lead to geomagnetic storms, the Yellowstone supercomputer and the NWSC will lead to improved forecasts and better protection for the public and our economy," Bogdan said.

Also attending today's opening were NSGF Director Subra Suresh; William Gern, University of Wyoming vice president of research relations; NCAR Director Roger Wakimoto; and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead.

"This is a great day for scientific research, for the University of Wyoming, and for Wyoming," Mead said. "Wyoming is proud to be part of the collaboration that has brought one of the world's fastest computers to the state.

"The center will have a positive impact on our future, through the research done here and by sending the message that Wyoming is honored and equipped to be the home of this amazing facility."

"The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center will offer researchers the opportunity to develop, access and share complex models and data at incredibly powerful speeds," added NSF Director Suresh.

"This is the latest example of NSF's unique ability to identify challenges early and make sure that the best tools are in place to support the science and engineering research communities."

The NWSC is the result of a broad public-private partnership among NCAR, NSF, UW, the state of Wyoming, Cheyenne LEADS, the Wyoming Business Council and Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power.

NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory will operate the NWSC on behalf of NSF and UCAR.

Through the NWSC partnership, which will also seek to advance education and outreach, UW will have research of 20 percent of NWSC's main computing resource.

In turn, UW will provide $1 million each year for 20 years to support the program. The state of Wyoming also contributed $20 million toward the center's construction.

Located in Cheyenne's North Range Business Park near the intersection of I-25 and I-80, the 153,000-square-foot center will provide advanced computing services to scientists across the U.S.

Most researchers will interact with the center remotely, via a laptop or desktop computer and the Internet.


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