SKA Telescope to Sport Massive Data Requirements

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Over at Science Network, Nic White writes that astronomers are planning to build the world’s largest computer system to process the massive amount of data that will be generated by the Square Kilometre Array. With an expected exabyte of daily data output, the SKA telescope will produce as much data as the entire Internet does every twenty four hours.

Professor Peter Quinn, director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, a collaboration between UWA and Curtin, says the $2 billion SKA will be 10,000 times more powerful than any other telescope and will therefore need a computer system utilising technology that doesn’t yet exist. “To solve the SKA problem we have to have the right data movement, data processing and data storage capacities,” he says.

The computing vendors for the SKA are yet unknown. Prof Quinn says there has been significant interest from international IT companies including Intel, IBM, Cisco, Cray Computers and many specialised firms. The design phase is between 2013 and 2016 and contracts will be issued following a competitive tendering process in the next 6–12 months, with construction beginning in 2016. Read the Full Story.