Veinto Nasa Simulation

Wayne Carlson, Department of Design
Keith Bedford
Alison Brown

The Experiment:
The Viento project integrated two large-scale simulation models running on supercomputers in geographically disparate locations, communicating using the NASA ACTS satellite:

Model 1) running primarily at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado -- used atmospheric conditions as input to simulate changing weather conditions over Lake Erie.

Model 2) running at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) in Columbus, Ohio -- used the changing Lake Erie weather conditions to predict the evolution of physical lake conditions.

Model 3) at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, Michigan -- provided input data and feedback from scientists. By exchanging boundary data between the models, the models worked together to provide forecasts of changing weather patterns around Lake Erie.

The Satellite:
The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) was the main focus of NASA's program to provide high-speed telecommunications resources. Originally planned in 1979, the satellite was placed in a geosynchronous orbit at 100 degrees west longitude in September 1993.

Three stationary beams focused on:
Cleveland, Atlanta, and Tampa, and two hopping beams served two distinct sectors. One of the beams could hop to six discrete locations, and the other beam could hop to seven discrete locations. The total throughput of the satellite was 660 Mb/second, and could be accessed at full speed using a High Data Rate (HDR) ground station in a single location, or could be multiplexed to communicate with 4 155 Mb/second channels in four different locations.

HDR ground stations located at NCAR and at OSC was connected through a HiPPi switch to both the supercomputers and Silicon Graphics Crimson VGXT workstations. A DS-3 land line connected OSC and GLERL during the experiment.

Ohio State University's Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) provided scientific visualization support for the Viento project. They utilized Silicon Graphics' "Explorer" visualization software in displaying two- and three-dimensional still images and animated sequences built from the data generated by each computational model in the experiment.

Audio and video cards installed in each workstation provided images and voice of each scientist at each workstation during the experiment. Additionally, collaboration software -- NCSA Collage, for example -- provideed an interactive "whiteboard" environment for displaying text and images between sites.

Sponsored by ARPA.

Related Project Information: The MISSION Project

Completed in 1996