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Leonard E Parker

Center for Gravitation, Cosmology & Astrophysics

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Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics

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LIGO Nanograv E@H ARCC RNS

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Acknowledgement

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.

Overview

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.

Specifications

Nemo has 7000 processor cores which provide a peak theoretical performance of 56 teraFLOPS of computing power. The detailed configuration is:

  • 8 nodes running modern GPUs that can perform matrix operations and Fourier transforms much faster than a traditional CPU. In addition, these nodes have 32 Intel Xeon E5-2650 cores running at 2.0GHz and 64GB of RAM. Deployed in Fall 2012.
  • 84 nodes with 32 Intel Xeon E5-2650 cores running at 2.0GHz and 64GB of RAM. Deployed in Fall 2012.
  • 160 nodes, each with 24 Intel Xeon X5650 cores running at 2.7GHz, 48 GBytes of RAM, 1000GB SATA disk. Deployed in fall 2010.
  • 500 TBytes of storage (about 300 TBytes of Sun X45xx servers and 200 TBytes of inexpensive data servers).
  • The system is networked with a Force10 E1200 ethernet switch; all equipment is connected to a 500kVA/400 kW UPS system; four Data-Aire 26-ton air conditioning units cool the data center.

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Research

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.

Funding

  • An upgrade of Nemo was funded on August 17, 2009 by a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation ($1,188,018) and by matching funds from UW-Milwaukee ($509,150). Approximately half of the funds were spent on upgrades in 2010 and the remaining half in 2012.
  • Nemo was funded on July 20, 2004 by a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation ($1,444,972) and by matching funds from UW-Milwaukee ($446,093). UW-Milwaukee also provided the space for the data center. The anticipated lifespan of the computing nodes was 3-5 years.

Background

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.


UWM Center for Gravitation and Cosmology | http://www.gravity.phys.uwm.edu/ | contact@gravity.phys.uwm.edu