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An artist rendering of the SKA’s low-frequency, cone-shaped antennas in Western Australia. Credit: SKA Project Office.

For nearly three decades, scientists and engineers across the globe have worked on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a project focused on designing and building the world’s largest radio telescope. Although the SKA will collect enormous amounts of precise astronomical data in record time, scientific breakthroughs will only be possible with systems able to efficiently process that data.

Summit supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science announced allocations of supercomputer access to 47 science projects for 2020.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have developed an experiment for testing potential materials for use in interplanetary travel. The experiment exposes prototype materials to temperatures over 2,400 degrees Celsius with only 300 watts of input electrical power. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

If humankind reaches Mars this century, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed experiment testing advanced materials for spacecraft may play a key role. 

Snapshot of total temperature distribution at supersonic speed of mach 2.4. Total temperature allows the team to visualize the extent of the exhaust plumes as the temperature of the plumes is much greater than that of the surrounding atmosphere. Credit: NASA

The type of vehicle that will carry people to the Red Planet is shaping up to be “like a two-story house you’re trying to land on another planet. 

Summit supercomputer

Processes like manufacturing aircraft parts, analyzing data from doctors’ notes and identifying national security threats may seem unrelated, but at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, artificial intelligence is improving all of these tasks.

Project bridges compute staff, resources at ORNL and VA health data to speed suicide risk screening for US veterans. Image Credit: Carlos Jones, ORNL

More than 6,000 veterans died by suicide in 2016, and from 2005 to 2016, the rate of veteran suicides in the United States increased by more than 25 percent.

Galactic wind simulation

Using the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team of astrophysicists created a set of galactic wind simulations of the highest resolution ever performed. The simulations will allow researchers to gather and interpret more accurate, detailed data that elucidates how galactic winds affect the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Quantum—Widening the net

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory studying quantum communications have discovered a more practical way to share secret messages among three parties, which could ultimately lead to better cybersecurity for the electric grid 

The researchers used the new model to accurately identify clusters of gene mutations (spheres), which helped them study the emergence of various genetic diseases. Image credit: Ivaylo Ivanov, Georgia State University.

Environmental conditions, lifestyle choices, chemical exposure, and foodborne and airborne pathogens are among the external factors that can cause disease. In contrast, internal genetic factors can be responsible for the onset and progression of diseases ranging from degenerative neurological disorders to some cancers.

Virtual universes

Using Summit, the world’s most powerful supercomputer housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team led by Argonne National Laboratory ran three of the largest cosmological simulations known to date.