NCAR Joins TeraGrid, Enabling Scientists to Strengthen Research into Complex Phenomena

BOULDER, June 13, 2006 — The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has joined the TeraGrid, the nation’s most comprehensive and advanced infrastructure for open scientific research. The announcement was made by National Science Foundation director Arden L. Bement, Jr. today at the TeraGrid ‘06 conference.

As a TeraGrid partner site, NCAR will offer increased access to its high-performance computing, climate data, and tools for data analysis and visualization. Access to these facilities will help Earth system scientists better understand complex phenomena such as global climate change, hurricanes and other severe storms, wildfires, air pollution, solar storms, and space weather.

TeraGrid, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, uses high-performance networks and grid middleware to integrate supercomputers, data repositories, and special-purpose data analysis facilities around the country. A common set of specifications, software, and physical equipment creates a coordinated work environment that enables researchers throughout the United States to collaborate on especially challenging scientific questions.

In his keynote speech at the TeraGrid ‘06 conference in Indianapolis, Bement welcomed NCAR to the TeraGrid partnership. “Today, I am pleased to announce the good news that the National Center for Atmospheric Research is officially the latest TeraGrid resource provider,” he said. “NCAR’s participation will increase the overall level of integration of NSF’s cyberinfrastructure and advance the ability of the geoscience community to mine TeraGrid’s incredible resources.”

In Boulder, NCAR director Tim Killeen says he is looking forward to the TeraGrid partnership.

“Joining the TeraGrid is an important strategic step for NCAR,” Killeen says. “The demand for cyberinfrastructure resources by the geosciences clearly exceeds the capacity of any single supercomputing center. TeraGrid is a powerful mechanism for coordinating scientific campaigns, federating observational data sets and modeling output, and allowing our user community access to enhanced facilities.”

After months of preparation, a joint NCAR/TeraGrid team transferred the first bits of data over the TeraGrid link on May 15. A new, dedicated TeraGrid data server has been installed at NCAR, and plans are being developed to connect an experimental storage cluster and provide access to select supercomputing resources.

“NCAR’s cyberinfrastructure resources-and, as importantly, their scientific expertise-will enhance interdisciplinary collaboration,” says Charlie Catlett, director of the TeraGrid project and a senior fellow at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory’s Computation Institute. “This highlights the TeraGrid 06 conference theme of advancing scientific discovery.”

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under primary sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. With its research partners, NCAR is dedicated to exploring and understanding the Earth atmosphere and its interactions with the Sun, the oceans, the biosphere, and human society. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

The TeraGrid, sponsored by the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure, is a partnership of people and a comprehensive collection of resources and services that enables and accelerates discovery in U.S. science and engineering research. Through coordinated grid middleware, policy, and high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrates a distributed set of high capability computational, data management and visualization resources to make U.S. research more productive. TeraGrid's Science Gateway collaborations and education and mentoring programs interconnect and broaden scientific communities.