The European Space Agency (ESA) has renewed a deal with Lenovo to support an attempt to map almost one billion stars in the Milky Way.
The ESA began the Gaia Project in 2013 to try to build up the most complete picture of the Milky Way to date by creating a map of the region.
“Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the galaxy,” the Gaia website states.
“Gaia will provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracies needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars in our galaxy and throughout the local group.”
The project requires a lot of back-end technology and infrastructure, and the EAS has been using Lenovo's NeXtScale System to process the large volumes of data. This contract has now been renewed.
The final file made up from the project is expected to be around a petabyte in size, although far more than this is being captured and processed as part of the project.
Wilfredo Sotolongo, vice president of Lenovo’s EMEA Data Centre Group, claimed that renewing the deal is evidence of the company’s strength in complex data-intensive projects.
“Collaborations such as the one we have with ESA help us maintain our leadership and continue to be an important benchmark in the high performance computing [HPC] industry," he said.
Lenovo's work with the ESA complements its membership of the European Technology Platform for HPC, a think-tank looking at how the EU could benefit from the advanced use of HPC systems to solve major social challenges.
Supercomputing technology is starting to become more commonplace in commercial organisations. Manufacturer Cray told V3 earlier this year that the company is seeing more interest from firms grappling with large datasets.
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