ISRO Builds India’s Fastest Supercomputer

Indian Space Research Organisation has built a supercomputer, which is to be India’s fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS (220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second). The supercomputing facility named as Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility is located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram. The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based supercomputer named “SAGA-220” (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is being used by space scientists for solving complex aerospace problems. The supercomputer SAGA-220 was inaugurated by Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO today at VSSC.

India's fastest Supercomputer - SAGA-220.

 “SAGA-220” Supercomputer is fully designed and built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre using commercially available hardware, open source software components and in house developments. The system uses 400 NVIDIA Tesla 2070 GPUs and 400 Intel Quad Core Xeon CPUs supplied by WIPRO with a high speed interconnect. With each GPU and CPU providing a performance of 500 GigaFLOPS and 50 GigaFLOPS respectively, the theoretical peak performance of the system amounts to 220 TeraFLOPS. The present GPU system offers significant advantage over the conventional CPU based system in terms of cost, power and space requirements. The total cost of this Supercomputer is about Rs. 14 crores. The system is environmentally green and consumes a power of only 150 kW. This system can also be easily scaled to many PetaFLOPS (1000 TeraFLOPS).

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French Prez Sarkozy backs India’s civil N-programme

French President Nicolas Sarkozy today expressed his country’s full support to development of India’s civil nuclear programme but felt access to this industry was “restricted”.

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy of France greets India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, at the G8 summit. Photo: AP

Soon after he arrived here on a four-day visit, Sarkozy also backed India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and its case for a permanent membership of the expanded United Nations Security Council, saying it was “unthinkable” to keep a country of over one billion out.

“France is a friend of India. It will stand with it in its efforts in developing non-polluting energy and nuclear industry,” the French President said addressing scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“We need to put an end to nuclear isolation of India”.

It was injustice done to India challenging your right to access to civil nuclear energy,” Sarkozy, who is on his second visit to India, said.

HYLAS Satellite Reaches Geostationary Orbit

HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite), which was launched successfully on November 27, 2010 by the European Ariane-5 V198 launch vehicle, has reached the geostationary orbit.

HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite).

It may be recalled that the HYLAS, the satellite jointly built by ISRO/Antrix and EADS/Astrium of Europe for Avanti communications of U.K. was initially injected into an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee of 250 km, apogee of 35,906 km and inclination of 1.99o.

ISROs Master Control Facility at Hassan immediately took over the control and command operations of the satellite. The perigee was raised from 250 km to 35,521 km by firing the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) of 432 Newton thrust level in three phases on Nov 28th (for 1 hour 19 minutes), on Nov 29th (for 30 minutes) and today (for about 4 minutes).

The HYLAS Satellite, presently in an orbit of 35,521 km (perigee) x 35,800 km (apogee) is in good health and in continuous radio-visibility from Hassan. One of its communication antennas has also been deployed successfully.

Antrix/ISRO and EADS Astrium built commercial communication satellite launched successfully

An advanced communication satellite HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite) built by ISRO on a commercial basis in partnership with EADS-Astrium of Europe, was successfully launched today, November 27, 2010 by the European Ariane-5 V198 launch vehicle. The launch took place from the Guyana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guyana.

35 minutes after its lift-off, HYLAS separated from Ariane-5 launch vehicle after reaching its intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka successfully received radio signals transmitted by HYLAS and the satellite’s health is normal.

HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite)

HYLAS satellite developed for Avanti Communications, UK consists of ten high power transponders that use eight in Ka and two in Ku band frequencies. The satellite is designed to deliver high-speed broadband services through its spot beams over Europe. The satellite is expected to be operated from 33.5 deg. W longitude for European coverage.

The contract for building of satellite was won in the year 2006 after competing along other leading manufacturers of USA and Europe through the strategic alliance worked out between Antrix/ISRO and M/s. EADS Astrium of France. The alliance was formed to jointly develop communication satellites with ISRO platforms and Astrium payloads and market them internationally.

The satellite can automatically allocate bandwidth to different regions

Astrium had the responsibility for overall program management and delivery of the communications payload and Antrix/ISRO provided the satellite bus and also performed the satellite integration and testing at ISRO’s facility in Bangalore. HYLAS satellite weighing 2541 kg at lift-off is the heaviest satellite built by ISRO for I-2K bus capable of operating for over 15 years mission life as demanded by the customer. The satellite’s solar panels generate a maximum of about 3200 Watts of power.

Antrix/ISRO is also responsible for the post launch operations of HYLAS, which are being conducted from the Master Control Facility, Hassan. The operations include firing of the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in three phases to place the satellite in geostationary orbit. The first firing of LAM is scheduled for the early hours of November 28, 2010.

CARTOSAT-2B Sending High Quality Imagery

The CARTOSAT-2B satellite, which was successfully launched by PSLV-C15 on July 12, 2010, into a polar sun-synchronous orbit, is working satisfactorily. The initial phase of operations of the satellite has been successfully completed. The camera has been switched on, and images of high quality are being received.

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