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Originally appeared in Friday, August 26, 2005 Oak Ridger
URL: http://www.oakridger.com/stories/082605/new_20050826028.shtml

$150 million TeraGrid award heralds new era for scientific computing

By: From Staff Reports

The National Science Foundation has made a five-year, $150 million award to operate and enhance the Extensible Terascale Facility - also called "TeraGrid." Researchers and educators around the country can now access a range of computing resources that will accelerate advances in science and engineering.

"Many new users from a range of scientific communities will now have access to sophisticated IT applications and computational tools. Over time, these applications will be customized to the needs of the individual or community," said NSF director Arden L. Bement Jr.

TeraGrid - built over the past four years - is the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research. Through high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrates high-performance computers, data resources and tools and high-end experimental facilities around the country.

"TeraGrid unites the science and engineering community so that larger, more complex scientific questions can be answered. Solving these larger challenges will, in turn, motivate the development of the next generation of cyberinfrastructure. This is a win-win situation consistent with NSF's mission to keep science and engineering at the frontier," said Bement.

The scientists and engineers responsible for TeraGrid operations will work closely with researchers whose science requires powerful computing resources. For example, researchers using TeraGrid are exploring functions of decoded genomes, how the brain works, the constitution of the universe, disease diagnosis and real-time weather forecasting to predict the exact locations of tornado and storm threats. TeraGrid will also help engineers design better aircraft via realistic simulations of new designs.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is one of eight TeraGrid sites, will receive $5.5 million over five years to support the TeraGrid. ORNL's principle task for this project is to operate the Neutron Science TeraGrid Gateway, a network that will make it possible to efficiently share the incredible amount of data that will be generated by experiments at the Department of Energy's $1.4 billion Spallation Neutron Source. The SNS, which will be coming on line next year, is expected to create 250 terabytes of raw experimental data per year by 2008. By 2011, the SNS will have accumulated data in excess of 1,000 terabytes.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a multiprogram laboratory managed for the Department of Energy by UT-Battelle.

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