The clarity of the Canary Islands skies will allow science to decipher the secrets of the universe

The Technological and Renewable Energy Institute (ITER), dependent on the Cabildo de Tenerife, and the Canarian company Light Bridges have signed a contract to promote the ‘ASTRO POC’ project, a public-private initiative that pursues the installation of an infrastructure Computational astrophysics taking advantage of the images obtained by the exceptional quality of the sky of the archipelago.

The contract contemplates the implementation of the project’s high-performance computing infrastructure in the D-ALiX Data Processing Center located at the ITER facilities in Granadilla, the Cabildo details in a note.

The Minister of Innovation, Juan José Martínez, points out that ITER makes the hosting capacity of the D-ALiX Data Processing Center available to the project.

“We are talking about a pioneering initiative for the creation of a world reference center for computational astronomy, allowing a large number of universities and international research centers to have access to exceptional scientific resources, generated in the Canary Islands, which will contribute to their research work in multiple fields of astrophysics and applied technologies,” he comments.

The infrastructure, operated by Light Bridges, will process astronomical images obtained in telescopic facilities, located, among others, at the Teide Observatory, of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), for subsequent use by the international research community.

The telescopes will operate robotically, capturing images of the sky with high resolution in various spectral bands.

The observation process will generate a voluminous amount of digital data that will need to be stored, processed and analyzed for subsequent use by researchers at an international level.

The D-ALiX Data Processing Center will play a crucial role in providing accommodation for high-performance, low-power storage systems, as well as GPU-based processing equipment, which will allow the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques to speed up processing. scientist of this abundant digital information.

The scientific director of Light Bridges and researcher affiliated with the IAC, Miquel Serra-Ricart, explains that the projects require processing a huge amount of astronomical data “quickly and accurately.”

“The information will be used in diverse fields of astronomy, from the detection and characterization of asteroids for planetary defense, to the discovery and monitoring of exoplanets or the search for optical counterparts to large energy explosions in the Universe,” he points out.

This contract between ITER and Light Bridges aims at the continuous improvement of the CPD infrastructure and, what is even more important, the possibility of developing joint R&D projects in the field of storage and processing of large volumes of information.

The project is developed with private financing and at the risk of its investors, mostly from the Canary Islands.

This contract underlines the commitment of both organizations to excellence in research and technological advancement, and represents a significant step to achieve a beneficial general objective, declared of general interest, such as carrying out activities related to research and innovation in the Canary Islands. in astrophysics and its instrumentation, stand out from the corporation.

“We are looking forward to developing joint projects, using the new computing infrastructure, DASE, introduced by VAST DATA and the Lenovo and Nvidia systems with which we collaborate,” indicate those responsible for Light Bridges.

Likewise, an increase in the interest of economic operators in the astrophysics and space sector is expected, with benefits for technological innovation in areas such as computing, GPU processing, robotics and control software, areas of excellence of the ITER .

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