Radio telescope operators have as much of a problem coping with the avalanche of data as getting that information in the first place. The Victoria University of Wellington is all too aware and is leaning on IBM for a powerful (if very tongue-tying) iDataPlex dx360 M3 compute cluster to sift through the deluge at the upcoming Murchison Widefield Array. Combined, the 4,096 array antennas probing deep space and solar atmospherics will have the Xeon-based cluster tackling signal data to the tune of 8GB per second, and about 50TB per day — that’s a Nexus 7‘s worth of astronomy faster than you can sneeze, folks. A 10Gbps network connection will feed the results to Perth to save scientists a roughly 435-mile trek. Construction is still in mid-stride, but the $ 51 million Australian ($ 52.2 million US) being spent on the Murchison array may be worthwhile if it helps solve the riddles of star formation and solar flares.
Filed under: Science