NSF invests in weather grid

Just as Hurricane Isabel moved into the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, the National Science Foundation awarded $11.3 million to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to build a grid network that will help researchers study and predict dangerous weather.

The award, announced Sept. 17, will be part of the Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery project, in which the NCSA collaborates with the University of Illinois and seven other institutions to develop ways to allow researchers, educators, and students to run realistic real-time atmospheric models.

According to NSF, today's weather simulation systems run in fixed environments, with a set number of computers.

NSF wants NCSA to develop a grid computing platform that can be used by researchers to remotely run weather simulation tests over a network-potentially tapping into much more powerful computers and software. Complex phenomenon like tornadoes could be better analyzed and predicted.


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