ARSC Science

Alaska Weather Symposium

The 2011 Alaska Weather Symposium was held on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks March 15-16, organized and sponsored by the Alaska Region NOAA National Weather Service, the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics, UAF Geophysical Institute and the International Arctic Research Center. Annual AWS gatherings facilitate the exchange of operational and research information related to weather in the Alaska environment, with participation from academic, research, government, military and private sectors.

HPC Application Acceleration

A National Science Foundation-funded workshop on the topic of application acceleration for high performance computing was held in Beijing, China, Oct. 21-23, 2010. ARSC's Chief Scientist Greg Newby was a conference convener and principal investigator of the NSF grant. More information about the workshop is available at www.arsc.edu/science/acceleration2010/

Real-time Weather Forecasting

ARSC has been active on many fronts in the production of real-time weather forecasts in Alaska. Real-time forecasts have included ARSCwrf , incorporated into the Advanced Weather Interactive Prediction System at the National Weather Service, Alaska WRF Midterm forecasts, UAF wildfire smoke forecasts , and recently a prototype implementation of an ARSC High Resolution Rapid Refresh model run.

New Technologies for High Performance Computing

ARSC has been active at hands-on evaluation of new technologies for high performance computing. A Symposium on Multicore and New Processing Technologies in 2007 helped to set the stage for these ongoing investigations. Recent topics of interest, pursued at ARSC by full time staff, students, interns, and partners, have revealed benefits and shortcomings of next-generation technologies for different purposes in high performance computing. Specific hardware technologies have included the Cell BE processor, general-purpose graphics processing units, field-programmable gate arrays, chip multithreading, and solid state drives. ARSC has also evaluated software technologies, including programming languages for reconfigurable computing, software development kits for the Cell BE and GPUs, and parallel global address space (PGAS) languages.

Space Weather

HPC Specialists Sergei Maurits and Anton Kulchitsky contribute into Space Physics research efforts at the ARSC. The focus is on maintaining the Space Weather portal at http://spaceweather.arsc.edu , where users can check the latest results from continuously running UAF EPPIM (locally developed Eulerian Parallel Polar Ionosphere Model), as well as the current geomagnetic activity and solar wind indices from the NOAA Space Prediction Center (SPC). The ionospheric modeling is performed with locally developed model UAF EPPIM, driven by automatically updated current inputs from NOAA SPC. These inputs include parameters of the upstream solar wind, thus facilitating short-term (2-3 hours) ionospheric forecasts with advance defined by delay of the solar wind propagation toward the Earth.

Comparisons of the modeled ionospheric parameters with the data from NOAA ionosonde real-time network are continuously available at the portal. These comparisons help to monitor the model performance and contribute into the model-validating database of the comparisons. Solar wind propagation model, newly developed by Anton Kulchotsky, helps to improve the forecasting scheme by adjusting the propagation times and, thus, more precise determination of the solar wind disturbances arrival and their immediate influence on the polar and adjacent sub-polar ionosphere. The solar wind propagation model allows for better understanding of the solar wind structures at 1AU and can be used with various space weather forecasting tools.

The EPPIM model is capable to generate 3-D time-dependent distribution of ionospheric parameters with high-resolution, realistically representing electron density gradients. Thus, its output is applicable for various radio-wave propagation tasks. Several projects in this field were completed recently.

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