Environmental science supercomputer gets upgrade

CEDA to double storage space to more than 44 petabytes to support processing of massive datasets

A major upgrade is being made to double the storage available in the JASMIN environmental science supercomputer, managed by RAL Space's Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA), part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Planet EarthThe upgraded system will support the global analysis of the next generation of climate models and provide a venue for UK academia and industry to exploit Earth observation data.

The supercomputer provides the UK and European climate and earth system science communities with the ability to access very large sets of environmental data, which are typically too big for them to download to their own computers, and to process it rapidly.  

Storage space will be doubled to more than 44 petabytes, equivalent to over 10 billion photos. It will also add around 40% to the processing capability, with 11,500 cores on 600 nodes, similar to adding the power of several thousand high end laptops.

This will enable the 1,700 registered users of JASMIN to quickly process and analyse big datasets, researching topics ranging from earthquake detection and oceanography to air pollution and climate science.

Large datasets

Dr Victoria Bennett, head of CEDA, said “We are excited to be expanding JASMIN to manage the increasingly large datasets, from satellites, climate models and other sources.

“For example the current Sentinel Earth observation satellites alone are producing 10 Terabytes of data every day and this will grow as more are launched as part of the European Commission's Copernicus programme. This upgrade will allow us to build on the successes we've already seen in enabling our users in the science community to efficiently process and analyse these massive datasets.”

The upgraded system will also continue to provide the UK environmental data commons - an online collaborative space bringing together data, services and expertise - underpinning much of academic environmental science.

It has been funded with a multi-million pound investment from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Image by Tesseract2 - Own work. This file was created with Blender, CC BY-SA 3.0