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Michael Mewhinney
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-3937 or 650/604-9000

Nov. 1, 2004
RELEASE : 04-102AR
NASA Technology Featured at National Computer Conference
NASA's cutting-edge research and technology will be showcased at the International Conference of High Performance Computing, Networking and Storage (SC2004) in Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Nov. 6-12, 2004.

"Bridging Communities" is the theme of SC2004. In its 16th year, the conference brings together representatives from many technical communities to exchange ideas, share recent successes, and plan the future of supercomputing.

"2004 marks a real turning point for NASA with the introduction of the Columbia supercomputer. Columbia is a highly integrated cluster of 20, 512-processor Altix supercomputers based on 'Kalpana,' the world's first 512-processor Altix showcased at SC2003," said Dr. Walter Brooks, chief of the Advanced Supercomputing Division at NASA's Ames Research Center, located in California’s Silicon Valley. Columbia was named to honor the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia lost Feb. 1, 2003.

"For SC2004, we will be highlighting the underlying technology, accelerated integration schedule and benchmarks, and most importantly we will feature major simulations that are occurring on this world-class system. Use of the Columbia supercomputer is extremely high. Major analysis in space and Earth science, as well as aeronautics and space operations, is underway, demonstrating we have both the capacity and the capability to accelerate all four NASA missions," Brooks added.

NASA's demonstrations and presentations represent work being done within each of the agency's four new mission directorates: Science, Aeronautics Research, Exploration Systems, and Space Operations. The directorates were formed earlier this year to transform NASA's organization to advance the Vision for Space Exploration. NASA researchers will also participate in panel discussions.

Visitors will also learn about work at five NASA field centers. These projects include the design of NASA's X-43A scramjet-powered vehicle, which at Mach 7 holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest air-breathing aircraft. High-performance computing contributed to this record-breaking flight. Another flight scheduled for Nov. 9 will attempt to reach a record speed of Mach 10, nearly 7,000 mph.

Visitors also will hear how a climate model, the Finite Volume General Circulation Model, is being run on Columbia. Improvements in the model, including an increased range of remote sensing data produced by NASA's Earth observing satellites, are being used to explore the Earth's atmosphere. Results from this next generation model indicate in the future, we can expect to see significant improvements in the accuracy of forecasts for events such as major storms and hurricanes.

Another NASA highlight is a computational framework for design and analysis of the entire fuel supply system of a liquid rocket engine, including high-fidelity unsteady turbopump flow analysis. Featured will be analysis results along with performance data of the simulation runs on Columbia. Advances in the emerging field of nanophase thermal and structural composite materials will be presented. These materials are expected to revolutionize the capabilities of virtually every system for future robotic and human exploration missions of the moon and Mars.

The Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Architecture and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Computer Society sponsor SC2004.

For more information about the conference, visit:

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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:


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