beowulf in space

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Apr 14 14:46:05 EDT 2003


> Has anybody considered the theoretical aspects of placing beowulfs on a 
> cluster of satellites?

if this interests you, I highly recommend reading Vernor Vinge's 
recent books (A Deepness in the Sky, for instance).  Robert Forward
has some topical ones, too.  they are science fiction, though...

> I understand that communication will be slower AND 
> unreliable,

well, to the extent that such a cluster would be spread out,
I can understand the "slower" part.  though c in vacuum is higher
than c in fiber or TP.

I don't see the "unreliable" part.  are you presuming some kind of 
traditional RF modulation?  using free-space optics seems like the 
more obvious way to network satellites, and I don't see why that would
be flakey.

> and it would restrict the set of problems that could be solved. I'm looking 
> for papers/tech reps etc on the subject.

I doubt they exist, simply because there's no practical reason,
given the huge cost and unclear advantage.

I can imagine some really great advertisements for colo though ;)

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