MEDIA ADVISORY
UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space to Celebrate Role in New NASA space mission and arrival of state-of-the-art supercomputing cluster


Contact: David Sims
603-862-5369
Science Writer
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space

Feb. 4, 2005



WHAT: Celebration of the University of New Hampshire’s selection for a key role in  NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission and the installation of a supercomputing cluster to be used in space, atmospheric, and Earth system research. Brief presentations on these major developments will be given, and key scientists will be present to answer questions.
 
WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005
 
WHERE: Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), Morse Hall atrium, Durham campus.
 
PARKING: Available behind Morse Hall.
 
BACKGROUND: Scientists Eberhard Möebius and Marty Lee of the University of New Hampshire's EOS Space Science Center and Department of Physics have been selected by NASA to help build instruments for a mission characterized as the "first step beyond the solar system and into the galactic frontier." The UNH team was awarded $5 million. As part of NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX mission, Möebius, Lee, and a team of engineers, scientists, and students at UNH will construct critical components of the special cameras on board the IBEX spacecraft.
 
The supercomputer cluster recently acquired and installed at EOS puts UNH in a select league of universities around the country with this kind of high-end computing power. The custom-configured Linux Beowulf Clusters, provided by Microway, Inc. of Plymouth, Mass., will be used by EOS researchers to simulate processes in space plasmas, to model the spread of pollutants through New England's air and their influence on climate, and to model Earth's ecosystems. The cluster will be able to perform more than one trillion operations per second or about 1,000 times as fast as an ordinary PC. Even with such enormous computer power many of the space, atmosphere, and Earth models used by researchers still require several days to run to completion.
 
To read the press releases on IBEX and the computer cluster, go to:
http://www.unh.edu/news/news_releases/2005/february/ds_050203nasa.html
http://www.unh.edu/news/news_releases/2004/december/ds_20041208supercomputer.html