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The Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics is supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation, UW-Milwaukee College of Letters and Science, and UW-Milwaukee Graduate School. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations.
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.