Through a high-speed national network connecting ORNL's neutron science facilities with supercomputers and data storage centers, valuable data will be rapidly accessed.
When ORNL becomes the world's foremost neutron science center, researchers from around the nation will be able to analyze the Laboratory's data both up close and at a distance. Thanks to a $3.9 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation to the Department of Energy's Center for Computational Sciences (CCS) at ORNL, a network hub and high-performance network connections will be established to support access to ORNL's neutron science instruments across the TeraGrid.
The Tera-Grid is part of a high-speed network that will provide scientists with extraordinary amounts of data from ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor and the $1.4-billion Spallation Neutron Source. When complete, the TeraGrid's network backbone will operate at 40 gigabits per second, making the research network the fastest in the world.
"This award is a wonderful illustration of the continuing partnership between NSF and the Department of Energy's Office of Science on the TeraGrid," says Raymond Orbach, director of the DOE office. "CCS will now be able to provide the nation's research community with expanded access to ORNL's extraordinary neutron science facilities."
The SNS, which will be the world's premier neutron scattering facility, is scheduled for completion in 2006. The High Flux Isotope Reactor is the world's most powerful source of thermal neutrons, used to unlock the molecular secrets of materials and to provide radioisotopes for a number of medical, industrial, and academic uses. Data from the two neutron sources will be made available through CCS.
The CCS is a DOE high-performance computing research center and a designated user facility whose mission includes helping to solve grand challenges in science and engineering. Housed in a new 170,000 sq. foot building with a 40,000 sq. foot computer center, CCS is the nation's largest such facility for unclassified scientific research.
ORNL's winning proposal was one of three so awarded by the NSF. ORNL collaborated in writing the proposal with the University of Tennessee, Georgia Institute of Technology, Duke University, Florida State University, North Carolina State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the University of Virginia.
The ORNL-led addition to the TeraGrid, called the Southeastern TeraGrid Extension for Neutron Science (SETENS), will allow scientists to use the massive computing and data storage resources on the TeraGrid to make rapidly detailed analyses and visualizations of data from neutron scattering experiments. The system will provide near real-time feedback.
SETENS represents a major commitment to the region and to economic growth in the Southeast. "This partnership will allow Georgia Tech researchers to explore pressing questions regarding the structure of complicated materials," says G. Wayne Clough, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology. "From a scientific perspective, this partnership has important ramifications in the fields of biotechnology, telecommunications, and environmental technology. From an economic development perspective, these resources show a continued commitment to build the intellectual capital of the Southeast—an investment that will reap benefits in terms of new business and research opportunities for decades to come."
The TeraGrid is a cornerstone in NSF's activities to develop a national cyber infrastructure to revolutionize the conduct of science and engineering research and education. The effort began in August 2001 with a $53-million award to four sites: the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California; Argonne National Laboratory; and the Center for Advanced Computing Research at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The consortium received another $35 million in October 2002 when the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center joined the partnership.
award will enable creation of a new TeraGrid hub in Atlanta, joining
existing hubs in Chicago and Los Angeles. The hubs are connected by
high-speed optical links in multiples of 10 gigabits. ORNL—the
hub of the neutron science universe—will connect to the Atlanta
hub at 10 gigabits initially and will work with Georgia Tech to equip,
operate, and maintain the hub.
Web site provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Communications and External Relations