Seventeen quadrillion operations per second. Twenty million solder joints. Five thousand meters above sea level. Forty-eight months to install.
These are just some of the big numbers behind a newly installed supercomputer designed to run one of the world's most complex ground telescopes, nearing completion on a remote, high plateau in Chile. Among other challenges, engineers had to overcome the site's harsh conditions and low oxygen levels to build the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Correlator, which will ultimately combine deep space signals captured by the telescope's dozens of antennas. "The technical challenges were enormous, and our team pulled it off," said Mark McKinnon, the North American ALMA Project Director at the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia, in a statement.To read more, click here.