Inherited by ESTO in 2000, NASA's Computational Technologies (CT) Project sought to demonstrate the potential afforded by teraFLOPS (trillion floating-point operations per second) performance to further our understanding and ability to predict the dynamic interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting the solar-terrestrial environment and the universe.
Project activities focused on selected NASA Grand Challenge science applications. Many of the Grand Challenges addressed the integration and execution of multiple advanced disciplinary models into single multidisciplinary applications. Examples of these included coupled oceanic-atmospheric-biospheric interactions, 3-D simulations of the chemically perturbed atmosphere, solid Earth modeling, solar flare modeling, and 3-D compressible magnetohydrodynamics. Others were concerned with analysis and assimilation into models of massive datasets taken by orbiting sensors.
Support the development of massively parallel, scalable, multidisciplinary models and data processing algorithms.
Make available prototype, scalable, parallel architectures, and massive data storage systems to CT researchers.
Prepare the software environments to facilitate scientific exploration and sharing of information and tools.
Develop data management tools for high-speed access management and visualization of data with teraFLOPS computers.
Demonstrate the scientific and computational impact for Earth and space science applications.
To study and ultimately predict space weather, scientists built a software tool called the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) that couples a series of computer models. The SWMF can simulate space weather phenomena over vast regions of space — from the surface of the Sun to the upper atmosphere of Earth, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. + Download the SWMF poster shown here (4.9 MB, PDF)
An output from the "Virtual California" model, which includes 650 segments representing the major fault systems in California, including the San Andreas fault. The model takes into account the gradual movement of faults and how they interact with each other. Researchers used the model to simulate 40,000 years of earthquakes in California. They found almost 400 major (magnitude 7 or above) earthquakes at an average interval of 101 years. (image credit: J. Rundle)