- A key objective: to improve the ability to simulate the structure and trajectory of hurricanes, and to study the airflow in buildings in hot climates
- The University’s new HPC resources will also be used to address other issues, such as the study of complex protein-ligands in quantum chemistry and micro-organisms in tropical environments
The autonomous University of La Réunion, founded in 1982, has chosen Bull to supply a new computing cluster, to support the University’s research activities. The University nurtures research projects, both at a local level – looking at issues of sustainable development and the local economy, healthcare and bioinformatics, and tropical agriculture – and with an international remit.
Sustainable development and local economy
The Laboratory of Physics and Mathematical Engineering for Energy and the Environment (known as PIMENT) will be using the bullx™ supercomputer in particular to carry out computer simulations of fluid mechanics, designed to improve our understanding of thermo-convection phenomena relating to the natural ventilation of buildings in hot climates. Thanks to this work, consulting firms will have access to tools that let them adapt their proposals to suit tropical climates perfectly, with technical solutions that optimize both energy use and thermal comfort.
Hurricanes and international perspective
For the Atmosphere and Cyclone Research Laboratory (LACy), a joint research unit with Météo-France, the French weather forecasting organization, and the CNRS (the French national center for scientific research), the bullx supercomputer will enable increasingly sophisticated digital models to be developed, especially focusing on the dynamic and physio-chemical aspects of the troposphere and the stratosphere. These models will aim to reproduce and help the understanding of:
- The microphysical structure of tropical cyclones
- How La Réunion’s terrain influences the trajectories of cyclones
- The mechanisms that trigger electrical activity within cyclones.
A number of projects will also be carried out in the area of ‘bioinformatics’ (the application of statistics and computer science to molecular biology). As part of work on molecular recognition between proteins and ligands, the supercomputer will be used to characterize a metastable complex between a protein and a small organic molecule. Studying the interactions between the two ‘protagonists’ draws on both classic and quantum mechanics. This work may subsequently be applied to improving the inhibitors used against proteins.
The joint research unit working on Plant Communities and Bio-invaders in Tropical Environments (PVBMT) will be using the supercomputer to study the phylogeny of bacterial species and understand the structure of their population.
The new computing cluster for the University of La Réunion is made up of 20 processing nodes from the bullx R422 -E2 family, along with a bullx S6030 SMP node, delivering total processing power of 1.92 Teraflops from 200 cores. The servers are interconnected by a non-blocking high-speed, low-latency InfiniBand QDR network, and share 36 Terabytes of data.
For more information >>> http://www.bull.com/extreme-computing/index.html