Computational Technologies (CT) Project

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.

Continuing efforts begun with CT Project funding include: the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), the Land Information System, QuakeSim, and the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF).

The CT Project was part of ESTO until 2005, and over 50 projects were completed by CT and the predecessor Earth and Space Sciences Project.. CT personnel were part of the NASA Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office (CISTO).

CT Objectives:

  • 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.

link to SWMF poster

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)