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Extreme Computing for Extreme Adaptive Optics: The Key to Finding Life Outside our Solar System

Hatem Ltaief from KAUST gave this talk at PASC18. “The real-time correction of telescopic images in the search for exoplanets is highly sensitive to atmospheric aberrations. The pseudo-inverse algorithm is an efficient mathematical method to filter out these turbulences. We introduce a new partial singular value decomposition (SVD) algorithm based on QR-based Diagonally Weighted Halley (QDWH) iteration for the pseudo-inverse method of adaptive optics. The pseudo-inverse simulation code will be deployed on-sky for the Subaru telescope during observation nights scheduled early 2018.”

Video: How an Exoplanet Makes Waves

In this video, a new NASA supercomputer simulation depicts the planet and debris disk around the nearby star Beta Pictoris reveals that the planet’s motion drives spiral waves throughout the disk, a phenomenon that greatly increases collisions among the orbiting debris. Patterns in the collisions and the resulting dust appear to account for many observed features that previous research has been unable to fully explain.