The Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics has its own compute cluster purpose built to search for gravitational-wave signals in large astronomical data sets. The cluster, called Nemo, is in a data center on the second floor of the Physics Building on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. This facilty was built and is operated by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration group at UW-Milwaukee. Nemo is used for development and production data analysis by members of the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration.
Nemo has 7000 processor cores which provide a peak theoretical performance of 56 teraFLOPS of computing power. The detailed configuration is:
The data center is available to all members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, including undergraduate and graduate students. Research activities address issues in cyber-infrastructure and gravitational physics. The enhanced computational facilities will permit deeper and more intensive searches for a wider variety of signals, and may enable the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves. The instrument development under this award will have considerable impact on the education and training of undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral scientists at UWM and other institutions around the nation. Undergraduate students will be involved in both the instrument development and the associated research program providing exceptional hands-on training in large-scale distributed computing. Access to these computational facilities is also provided via the Open Science Grid for non-LIGO scientists thus adding to the national cyber-infrastructure for scientific research.
The LIGO experiment generates such a vast amount of data that large supercomputers are needed to process it. As part of the UWM LSC early contributions to LIGO, a Data Center was built in 1998. The data center started its operations with the "Alpha Cluster", at the time a powerful 48 node cluster of computers consisting. The Alpha cluster was upgraded in 2001 to Medusa, a 300 node cluster.