Exploring the Universe with the SKA Radio Telescope and CUDA

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Wes Armour from the Oxford eResearch Centre

In this video, Wes Armour from the Oxford eResearch Centre discusses the role of GPUs in processing large amounts of astronomical data collected by the Square Kilometre Array and how CUDA is the best suited option for their signal processing software.

During his session at GTC 2019, Armour talked about AstroAccelerate, a GPU enabled software package that uses CUDA and NVIDIA GPUs to achieve real-time processing of radio-astronomy data. He stated that “The massive computational power of modern day GPUs allows code to perform algorithms such as de-dispersion, single pulse searching and Fourier Domain Acceleration Searching in real-time on very large data-sets which are comparable to those which will be produced by next generation radio-telescopes such as the SKA.”

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with a collecting area of over one square kilometre. The design and development of the SKA is a truly global effort involving 100 organizations across 20 countries. The SKA is one of the largest scientific endeavors in history and its scale represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research & development.

The SKA project relies on NVIDIA Tesla GPUs to process over 2,000 observing beams, which produce around 160GB/s of data, equivalent to around 50 hours of HD television data per second. In the video, Wes Armour describes the role of GPUs in processing large amounts of astronomical data collected by the SKA, the use of the cuFFT CUDA-X library and NVIDIA Nsight tools in their work, and how CUDA is the best suited and most performant option for their signal processing software.

In this video from GTC 2019, Wes Armour presents: AstroAccelerate – GPU-Accelerated Signal Processing for Next Generation Radio Telescopes.

Prof Wes Armour is Centre Director and Associate Professor in Engineering Science. He leads the Scientific Computing Group at OeRC. Prof Armour has an MPhys degree in Fundamental Particle Physics and Cosmology and a PhD in Lattice Gauge Theory (the computational description of the strong nuclear force). His research interests are strongly focused in Scientific Computing, specifically the use of HPC and many-core technologies to answer scientific problems or to have impact in people’s day-to-day lives. Topics of work are centered on modeling and simulation, Digital Signal Processing (DSP), HPC/many-core and real-time computing for Big Data / Data Science.

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