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Power Australia Earth Supercomputing Science

Renewable Energy To Power Aussie SKA 48

Posted by timothy
from the until-heat-death-of-the-universe dept.
schliz writes "New solar and geothermal energy facilities are being built in Australia to provide sustainable energy for the region's Square Kilometer Array (SKA) bid. The Australian Government yesterday announced A$47.3m in funding for a full-scale, hybrid solar and diesel plant for the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, and geothermal energy facilities for the Pawsey High-Performance Computing Centre, where data from SKA radio telescopes would be processed. ASKAP is part of the Australasian bid to host the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which involves 20 countries and will investigate galaxy evolution, dark matter, and the existence of life. IBM expects the whole of the SKA to produce an exabyte of data per day."
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Renewable Energy To Power Aussie SKA

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  • by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Friday June 11, 2010 @10:08PM (#32545588) Homepage Journal

    The unfortunate side effects:

    1. A massive amount of hardware has been required to filter all the content from the SKA to the data-centre, just in case it has any "NC" information in it.

    2. All pictures of "Uranus" will be blocked.

    3. Attempting to focus in on a picture of a "Black Hole" will have the whole thing disabled for upto a year.

  • One exabyte per day? Holy shit, that's a -lot- of data!

  • ugh (Score:1, Funny)

    by deathtopaulw (1032050)
    Ska is a bad enough genre without getting the green movement and the australians in on it.
  • Could it be? Could there really be something even remotely positive coming from the Australian government? I don't get it. In what way can they use the SKA to further rape the freedoms and liberties of the Australian public? What's their agenda? Why are they spending money on this when they could be out kicking babies for fun and profit?
  • Way, way out in the middle of the desert you can either truck in a pile of fuel forever, run a very long, very expensive and very lossy power line, or try to use a power source that is already there.
    Solar will suck on the two or three cloudy days each year but otherwise has potential, it's about an obvious solution for solar as you can get because getting conventional power out there is likely to cost more.
    As for geothermal, drilling deep holes is very expensive but there is some pretty hot rock down there
    • Way, way out in the middle of the desert you can either truck in a pile of fuel forever, run a very long, very expensive and very lossy power line, or try to use a power source that is already there.
      Solar will suck on the two or three cloudy days each year but otherwise has potential, it's about an obvious solution for solar as you can get because getting conventional power out there is likely to cost more.

      Searching google [google.com] gave me 341000 results, starting with a few businesses which deliver solar power and some descriptions of projects, so I doubt this idea is novel.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        It isn't novel, it's just not as stupid an idea as some posters here suggest and is not entirely for the sake of "being green."
  • by linzeal (197905) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @12:21AM (#32546398) Homepage Journal
    They put out a surprisingly high number of top-notch astronomers and astrophysicists for a country of their size. Must be something about the ability to drive 50 miles outside any town and have crystal-clear desert skies free of moisture and pollution. It is a real shame that the US has been on a decline for R&D for at least a decade for the "Big Science" projects. That is not to say the US is not producing some interesting research nowadays but it a large amount of that is increasingly being done under DARPA directives which in whole or part makes any paper or discovery subject to review by an intelligence agency for release to the public.
    • In the Mallee, out around Hattah, I would go waking at night, using Venus to light my way and the Magellanic clouds would be easy to see. But if you want to do optical astronomy you need to do it at altitude and with clear skies. We don't have that.

      • by linzeal (197905)
        Yeah its not good for optical astronomy installations but for radio it is ideal.
        • by tsm_sf (545316)
          They went on for ever and they when I lived in Australia and the skies always had little fluffy clouds and they were long and clear and there were lots of stars, at night.
          And when it rain it would all turn beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire and the clouds would catch the colors everywhere.
          It's neat because I used to look at them all the time when i was little.

          So yeah probably better for radio.
  • Cool! (Score:4, Funny)

    by mweather (1089505) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @12:30AM (#32546446)
    I love Aussie Ska! The Allniters are one of my favorite bands!
  • So, in ~700 years, they could fill a ZFS zpool [wikipedia.org]. Awesome!
  • by Yaa 101 (664725) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @01:22AM (#32546798) Journal

    They will probably need Skatalites for some exiting soundbites each day...

  • by forand (530402) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @11:38AM (#32549910) Homepage
    Sorry to be pedantic about this but the complete miss-use of the term 'renewable energy source' is getting out of hand. Geothermal is most certainly NOT renewable. Current neutrino models and measurements, using just expected composition within the Earth indicate there is no source of energy within the Earth, there is latent energy. Geothermal is a green source of energy in that it does not pollute and doesn't have a large impact on the surrounding environment when tapped.
  • Recent (1 week old) photographs of the site, the first dish, and the array can be found here http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/data/Boolardy/ [uwa.edu.au] This includes movies showing the three rotational axes of the dish, some gigapixel panoramas, and ladyBug footage.
  • Sorry, Australia, but South Africa will finally get the SKA! We already have captured the first images with our seven dish proof-of-concept installation.

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