Applications of GPUs in radio astronomy

Prof. Matthew Bailes
Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing
Thursday, 4 December, noon – AB Lounge

Computer games cards have driven a societal revolution in which ultra-high speed entertainment requires Teraflop performance. But it was only a decade ago that the most powerful supercomputer in the world, known as the Earth Simulator, was 36 Teraflops and cost 100s of millions of dollars to construct and millions in power every year.

Now, for just $549 we can but a 4 Teraflop games card that is revolutionizing science, the GTX 980. In this talk I will give examples of how computer games cards are allowing new advances in radio astronomy. These include the real-time filtering of interstellar radio signals to search for the gravitational wave signature of supermassive black hole binaries, (successful) searches for relativistic binary pulsars, real time searches for extragalactic radio bursts, high resolution FX correlation and how they are revolutionizing the design of radio telescopes to perform many of these functions in parallel describing the UTMOST facility at the old Molonglo parabolic cylinder in some detail which should find dozens of Fast Radio Bursts every year.

This year’s Kamper lecturer, Prof. Matthew Bailes, will give a special astronomical instrumentation discussion (AID) about graphics processors and their applications to radio astronomy.