NOAA lab extends supercomputing contract with Raytheon

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratory has given Raytheon Co. a three-year contract extension to manage its high-performance computing cluster.

NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., first awarded a three-year integration contract to Raytheon in 2000, said the lab's deputy director, Brian Gross. Raytheon is exercising its option for a three-year extension, worth at least $32 million, through fiscal 2006.

The lab has a cluster of eight SGI Origin 3800 systems with a total of 2,432 processors, Gross said. The high-performance computing environment includes two 96-processor SGI computers for data analysis and a StorageTek PowderHorn 9310 tape library from Storage Technology Corp. of Louisville, Colo.

Four 512-processor systems within GFDL's cluster are ranked in the middle of the semiannual Top 500 list of the world's fastest computers, at www.top500.org.

Much of GFDL's work involves developing weather and climate models, such as the hurricane model that the National Weather Service uses to track powerful storms. Lab scientists also seek more accurate simulations of seasonal climate variations and long-term climate changes caused by humans.

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