A Heterogeneous Computing Environment
to Simulate Astrophysical Fluid Flows

Joel E. Tohline

Department of Physics & Astronomy
Louisiana State University

0. Astronomy Background

Hubble Deep Field
Galaxy M100
Orion Nebula
Orion Animation

1. Motivation

The Astrophysical Problem:
Why Do Stars Preferentially Form in Pairs?
Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulations:
The Need to Perform Well-Resolved, Three-Dimensional CFD Simulations
The Need to Routinely Analyze Time-Varying, 3D Fluid Flows

2. Environmental Demands

Overwhelming Data Storage Requirements
Unique Attributes of Different Computational Platforms
A Well-Posed Problem

3. Our Solution: A Heterogeneous Computing Environment

Task CFD Simulation the link Visualization
Platform data transfer process control Platform
1993 MasPar MP1 NFS cross-mounted disks unix sockets Sparcstation
1998 Cray T3E ftp remote shell script SGI Onyx

4. Example Result: Spiral-Mode Instability


5. Summary

6. Acknowledgments

This work has been supported, in part, by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grant AST-9528424 and, in part, by grants of high-performance-computing time at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and through the PET program of the NAVOCEANO DoD Major Shared Resource Center in Stennis, MS.