Technology Space station to test supercomputer bathed in cosmic rays

00:17  13 august  2017
00:17  13 august  2017 Source:   CNET

SpaceX’s next launch will send an HPE supercomputer to the International Space Station

  SpaceX’s next launch will send an HPE supercomputer to the International Space Station Tomorrow, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch another batch of cargo and science experiments to the International Space Station, and that shipment will include a supercomputer from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The space station’s location in lower Earth orbit makes it an unfriendly place for computers. Because the ISS sits outside the majority of Earth’s protective atmosphere, it’s exposed to more radiation — from solar flares and cosmic rays that originate outside the Solar System. This exposure can degrade technology over time, so computers that go to space have to be physically “hardened” with shielding in order to withstand this higher radiation environment.

Thinking about toting a computer with you to Mars? Hewlett Packard Enterprise is sending some big iron into orbit to figure out how.

Thinking about toting a computer with you to Mars? Hewlett Packard Enterprise is sending some big iron into orbit to figure out how.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Spaceborne Computer will test supercomputing reliability on the International Space Station.© Provided by CNET Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Spaceborne Computer will test supercomputing reliability on the International Space Station. HAL seemed to have little trouble in "2001: A Space Odyssey," but here's the problem with computers in space: a constant stream of cosmic rays seriously disrupt electronics.

That's why Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NASA are testing how well supercomputing technology works on the International Space Station. A SpaceX rocket scheduled to lift off Monday will carry a machine called the Spaceborne Computer that will see whether software techniques can catch and correct errors induced by the radiation from our sun and galaxy that reaches low Earth orbit. HPE announced the work Friday.

Dark energy tests prove science is right about the universe

  Dark energy tests prove science is right about the universe Well, for now at least.

Space station to test supercomputer bathed in cosmic rays - CNET Google News - Science (Today) - CNETSpace station to test supercomputer bathed in cosmic raysCNETHewlett Packard Enterprise's unassuming Spaceborne Computer will test supercomputing reliability with NASA's

blog 'katieragsdale.blogdetik.com' is not exists. The Options Course Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises and Tests to Help

leopardhandcc
You Should Carry One of These 11 Credit Cards
Find Out More
Sponsored by CompareCards

The research ultimately could improve computers here on Earth -- but also get humans to Mars.

"Mars is the next frontier, and we need supercomputing to get there. Mars astronauts won't have near-instant access to high-performance computing (HPC) like those in low-Earth orbit do -- the red planet is 26 light minutes round-trip away," said Mark Fernandez, Americas technology officer at HPE's SGI business unit. Supercomputers can be used for tasks like figuring out what to do if a spacecraft or Mars habitation has a system failure.

The Spaceborne Computer is nothing like the mammoth supercomputers on Earth, which take up rooms the size of basketball courts to tackle complex challenges like simulating the planet's weather or the effects of aging on nuclear weapons. But it uses the same basic technology, including Intel processors and a high-speed interconnect to join the system's independent computing nodes.

SpaceX Dragon delivers scientific bounty to space station

  SpaceX Dragon delivers scientific bounty to space station A SpaceX shipment arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, delivering a bonanza of science experiments. The SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up following a two-day flight from Cape Canaveral. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer used the space station's hefty robot arm to grab the Dragon 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Pacific, near New Zealand.

Powered by Pugpig for Web. Physics World: Reducing Cosmic Rays to a Trickle.

In this case, the computer employs a 56Gbps optical interconnect to link its different nodes. That's fast enough data-transfer speed to transfer three episodes of "Game of Thrones" from one machine to another in less than a second.

Space is a tough environment, but it has its perks. One of them is that the machine's water cooling system can poke out into space, keeping the machine from overheating for free. On Earth, cooling data centers is a major expense for companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft that operate thousands upon thousands of machine.

The challenge for the Spaceborne Computer is to get it all working despite cosmic rays. The Earth's magnetic field protects the planet's surface from these electrically charged particles -- protons and other particles that stream in from our sun, elsewhere in the galaxy and sometimes even other galaxies. They carry so much energy they can blast electronics out of whack, corrupting memory and messing up calculations.

Some computers destined for space have special shielding and other protection, but not this one. Instead of hardware changes, the computer employs software layers to for detection, correction and protection, Fernandez said. "Success would be ... correct results for a year," he said.

And that's the kind of reliability that could benefit us even here on Earth.

International Space Station astronauts to view the solar eclipse 3 times .
<p>While millions of Americans gather across the country to catch a glimpse of Monday's total solar eclipse, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station will view the event from a much different vantage point.</p>The ISS crew members are predicted to view both a partial eclipse and the moon's shadow cast on the North American continent as they make three tracks around the planet 400 km above Earth's surface, according to NASA.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!