NASA has awarded approximately 4.65 million hours of supercomputing time to researchers. The computing time may help scientists solve some of the most challenging research problems involving climate variability, combustion burners, flow conditions and novel electronic materials.

NASA awarded the time under its new National Leadership Computing System initiative. The system was chartered to provide resources to computationally intensive research projects in the national interest. Researchers will use NASA’s Columbia, one of the world’s largest and most productive supercomputers. It is located in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at the agency’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

“These large allocations on the Columbia supercomputer will help leading scientists to dramatically accelerate advances in these fields, leading the way to new technologies and improving the human condition,” said NAS Deputy Division Chief Bryan Biegel. The facility delivers world-class high performance computing capability to nearly 1,000 users at NASA and other government agencies, companies and universities.

Four major research projects are receiving the supercomputer time:

– A Cloud-Resolving Tropical Simulation for Studying Scale-Interactions and Hurricane Variability: Led by Greg Holland, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo., the project will receive 950,000 processor hours. The time will be used to simulate weather at high, cloud-resolving resolution to determine how moist convection impacts natural climate change, such as hurricane frequency and intensity. This research will provide objective information about future hurricane impact, leading to improved understanding of how climate both influences, and is influenced by, human activities.

– Modeling the Rheological Properties of Suspensions: Application to Cement Based Materials. Led by William George, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., this project will receive one million hours. Scientists will study the flow, dispersion and merging of dense suspensions, such as cement-based materials like concrete, under a variety of flow conditions. Understanding these mechanisms is a challenge in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to coatings.

– Interaction of Turbulence and Chemistry in Lean Premixed Combustion: Led by Marcus Day, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., this project is receiving 1.8 million hours. Scientists will study the dynamics of ultra-lean, turbulent, pre-mixed burners incorporating detailed chemistry and transport for a variety of fuels. The resulting knowledge could accelerate development of new gaseous burners, which have the potential to reduce emissions in transportation systems, heat and power generation.

– Massively Parallel Approach to the Nonlinear Response of a Mott Insulator: Led by James Freericks, Georgetown University, Washington. This project is receiving 900,000 hours. Scientists will study Mott insulators, strongly correlated materials with electronic properties that can change dramatically with pressure, temperature, or other conditions, to learn more about high temperature superconductors and other electronic materials.

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