NASA said Friday that it has awarded 4.75 million hours of supercomputing time to U.S. scientists this year. As part of NASA's National Leadership Computing System (NLCS) initiative, researchers will have access to the space agency's Columbia system--one of the world's largest supercomputers located at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The donated time is meant to help scientists crack some of the harder, more computationally intensive problems, involving turbulent fluid flow, naval ship design, combustion for power generation and ocean convection, according to NASA.
"These significant allocations of time on Columbia will help top scientists make high-impact advances in several important fields, leading to improved aerospace vehicles and naval ships, a cleaner environment, and more accurate predictions of future climate change," NASA spokesman Bryan Biegel said in a statement.
Four projects will receive the donated time. In one such initiative, University of Colorado at Boulder scientists will test new algorithms in large-scale simulations of global ocean thermohaline circulation (THC). They will be looking at how fluctuations of THC affect the world's climate.