beowulf in space

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Apr 14 16:11:52 EDT 2003


> ground navigational cluster... certainly we can achieve a very high
> velocity for our death plunge into the Sun's outer
> atmosphere... Computational real time observations within those few
> precious moments before the probe vaporised would certainly be enhanced by
> an on board beowulf cluster... You asked for speculation, as to an
> application... I think this is perhaps one. 

nice plan ;)

you have to remember that beowulfery is basically
for cheapskates and penny-pinchers.  the whole idea is to use
hardware that's been made cheap by the commodity PC market,
and build something powerful out of it.  there's really no 
special sauce (ie, "grid"), just a bunch of cost-effective hardware.

the point is that for space applications, costs are already
sky high (heh), so saving a few bucks by running a cluster
doesn't make that much sense.  

the real cost-savings is in reducing mass...

I'd also guess that space apps don't need that much compute power.

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