Bureau of Meteorology to get new supercomputer

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 10 September, 2014

Bureau of Meteorology to get new supercomputer

The Bureau of Meteorology has launched the tender process for a new supercomputer to help it more accurately forecast severe thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.

The request for tenders was opened on the AusTender government website. The new computer will be operational from mid-2016 and is expected to be almost 20 times faster than the bureau’s current system.

“The new supercomputer will enable the bureau to produce more accurate and localised weather information, particularly to support public safety in severe weather events such as thunderstorms, fires, floods and tropical cyclones,” Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said.

Besides the supercomputer itself, the bureau is also seeking tenders for a host data centre via the AGIMO data centre facilities panel.

The federal government allocated funding over the next seven years for the supercomputer project as part of the most recent Budget.

The size of the allocation has not been specified. But Computerworld noted at the time that a government report into the bureau’s capacity to predict natural disasters, conducted in 2011, estimated that a new supercomputer and associated data storage could cost in the range of $38 million.

The request for tenders will run for nine weeks and contract negotiations with the winning vendors are expected to be finalised by mid-2015.

Image courtesy of European Southern Observatory under CC

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