Soulskill from the outer-space-and-computing-make-for-big-numbers dept.
Lucas123 writes "The latest and most ambitious attempt to detect 'near-Earth objects' (NEOs) is the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. When it's fully operational several years from now, it will have four telescopes, each with a 1.4-gigapixel camera. The system is expected to be able to track virtually all NEOs larger than 300 meters in diameter as well as many smaller ones. Rather than turning to an expensive supercomputer equipped with hundreds or thousands of processors, Pan-STARRS will use a cluster of 50 PC servers connected to 1.1 petabytes of disk storage via fast Infiniband networking gear."
The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood
of bean counters.
-- Alan Kay