©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin

In coming months, the NCAR supercomputer in Cheyenne will tackle five new projects that could improve weather and climate forecasting in Wyoming. The supercomputer, known as Yellowstone, has the capacity of nearly 73-thousand desktop computers, working together as one. That power will be used studying wind turbine performance and population growth in the Colorado River Basin, among other things. University of Wyoming professor Bart Geerts’ project is especially ambitious.

A group of University of Wyoming researchers received $508,000 from NASA to study aerodynamics and wind resistance at Wyoming’s Supercomputing Center.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Wyoming has one of the highest capacities for wind power production in the country. But University of Wyoming Mathematics Professor Stefan Heinz says most wind farms aren’t arranged as efficiently as they could be. He says the wake of one turbine often disrupts the turbines around it, reducing efficiency.

Willow Belden

Final testing is being done on a supercomputer in Cheyenne that will be used for climate modeling and other Earth sciences.
The new computer, called Yellowstone, is among the top dozen or so fastest supercomputers in the world right now.
An opening ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 15.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research is lining up research projects that will get time on its machine starting this fall.

The University of Wyoming is getting access to a portion of the supercomputer that the National Center for Atmospheric Research is building in Cheyenne, but it’s also building it’s own smaller supercomputer on campus.

Bryan Shader is the special assistant to the vice president of research and economic development at UW. He says the campus supercomputer will be faster and more powerful than the computing systems the university has now.

Willow Belden

Listen to the story

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is building a supercomputing center in Cheyenne, which will house one of the most powerful computers in the world. Scientists are looking forward to the machine’s arrival … and many in Wyoming say its presence here will put the state on the map. The facility where the computer will be located is finished … and the machine itself is set to arrive in May. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden toured the building … and filed this report.