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Last update: Apr 1, 2000

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NASA’s Information Power Grid: Distributed High-Performance Computing and Large-Scale Data Management for Science and Engineering

William Johnston1, Dennis Gannon2, Bill Nitzberg3
  1. NASA Ames and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  2. NASA Ames and Univ. of Indiana
  3. NASA Ames

Speaker: William Johnston

  "Grids" are an approach to building dynamically constructed problem solving environments using distributed and federated, high performance computing and data handling infrastructure that incorporates geographically and organizationally dispersed resources.
  The overall motivation for most current "Grid" projects is to enable the resource interactions that facilitate large-scale science and engineering such as high energy physics data analysis, climatology, aerospace systems design, etc.
  The vision for NASA’s Information Power Grid - a computing, data, and instrument Grid - is that it will provide significant new capabilities to scientists and engineers by facilitating routine construction of information based problem solving environments. Such Grids will knit together widely distributed computing, data, instrument, and human resources into just-in-time systems that can address complex and large-scale computing and data analysis problems. Examples of such problems in the NASA environment include:
  + Coupled, multidisciplinary simulations too large for single computing systems (e.g., multi-component turbomachine simulation);
  + Management of very large parameter space studies where thousands of low fidelity simulations explore, e.g., the aerodynamics of the next generation space shuttle in its many operating regimes (from Mach 27 entry into the atmosphere to landing);
  + Use of widely distributed, federated data archives (e.g., simultaneous access to meteorological, topological, aircraft performance, and flight path scheduling databases supporting a National Air Transportation Simulation system);
  + Coupling large-scale computing and data systems to scientific and engineering instruments so that real-time data analysis results can be used by the experimentalist in ways that allow direct interaction with the experiment (e.g. operating jet engines in test cells and aerodynamic studies of airframes in wind tunnels);
  + Augmented reality and virtual reality remote collaboration (e.g., the Ames / Boeing Remote Help Desk providing direct aircraft field maintenance use of coupled video and non-destructive imaging to a remote, on-line, airframe structures expert who uses this data to index into detailed design databases, and returns 3D internal aircraft geometry imagery to the field for damage assessment);
  + Single computational problems too large for any single system (e.g. a rotocraft reference calculation).
  This paper will describe the architecture and software capabilities of IPG, as well as the current state of the implementation of the computing, data, and organizational infrastructure across three NASA centers to enable a prototype production Grid by Oct., 2000.

Presentation:  Adobe Acrobat pdf Short Paper:  Adobe Acrobat pdf 

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