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As part of the NSF's Grand Challenge Program, researchers at the Caltech Concurrent Supercomputing Consortium (CSCC) are collaborating with Intel and DATATAPE to improve methods for data storage and analysis in radio telescope systems. CRPC is one of several member organizations involved in the CSCC.

"The project is of significant importance," said Tom Prince of Caltech, "because of its technological and scientific applications. It not only is a technological challenge, but the end results will have an important effect on astronomical observations." The project is surveying the galaxy to detect rapidly spinning neutron stars (pulsars). The group will use Caltech's Intel Paragon to test data transfers of up to 50 MBytes/s. According to representatives at DATATAPE, the "fast computational speed, I/O transfer rates, and accuracy of the Paragon made it the logical candidate for data analysis." DATATAPE will provide a high-performance recording device to store data gathered from the radio telescope.

The matchup of Intel, CSCC, and DATATAPE is a good one for the CSCC, according to its director, CRPC researcher Paul Messina. "Grand Challenge Projects such as this one are the heart of the CSCC," he said. "Our mission is to accelerate pro-gress in computational science by acquiring and using computers and peripheral devices of unprecedented capabilities to solve problems of fundamental importance. Our involvement with this project supports this mission and will have significant impact on future projects because of the breakthroughs we have accomplished in mass data collection, transfer, and analysis."

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