SC17 Denver, CO

HPC in Space: Supercomputing at 17,500 MPH

Authors: Dr. Mark Fernandez (Hewlett Packard Enterprise)

Abstract: Spaceborne Computer intends to run a year-long high performance computing (HPC) experiment utilizing a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer system on the International Space Station (ISS). This research has the potential to identify methods of using software to protect computers from the harsh environment of space without expensive, time-consuming or bulky protective shielding. This original experimental process is referred to as "HARDening with SOFTware". The Spaceborne Computer software architecture will be presented; the current status of the experiment will be shared; and a request from the audience for additional potential uses of HPC in space will be solicited.

Long Description: The goal of this BOF is three-fold. The first is to make the HPC community aware of this experiment. This includes identifying the technical hardware and software difficulties encountered and overcome while preparing a supercomputer for "shipment" to the International Space Station (ISS); as well as operating such a system in space compared to operations in a traditional (Earth-bound) data center. Secondly, this BOF will provide an up-to-the-minute status of the on-going experiment. Successes, difficulties and failures will be discussed. A live, interactive session with the HPC system on the ISS will be attempted during the BOF. Thirdly, we will solicit from the HPC audience input to consider for future uses of HPC in space; and specifically, other potential uses of this teraFLOP supercomputer in space. Since this is the first extraterrestrial supercomputer, there have been no previous BOFs on this subject.

From this BOF, we will enlighten the HPC community to the possibilities of HPC in space and hence, “HPC Everywhere”. We will also solicit from the HPC community other factors that should be considered for this on-going experiment. Finally, suggestions related to additional testing that should be performed and other potential uses of HPC in space will be welcomed.

Conference Presentation: pdf

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