Our supercomputing OzSTAR facility here at Swinburne has proven to be an excellent research tool in areas of astronomy ranging from simulations of structure formation in the universe to the processing of data collected from telescopes.
The supercomputer's dedicated optical fibre link with the Parkes telescope has led to the most widely publicised research outcome to date: the exciting discovery of the 'diamond planet'.
Supercomputer usage contributes to approximately 80 astronomy publications per year in peer-review journals and a similar number across other Swinburne research disciplines.
The supercomputing program is managed through the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing (CAS) and is maintained by Swinburne Information Technology (IT).
Accounts on the system are open to all astronomers at publicly funded institutions in Australia and all Swinburne staff and students. On average, time on the facility is split roughly as 60% for astronomy use and 40% for other disciplines at Swinburne
Currently, there are over 400 account holders spread across more than 50 national and international institutions.
Research students regularly represent around half of the facility’s usage.
A portion of the astronomy time is allocated through a merit-based proposal scheme judged by the Astronomy Supercomputer Time Allocation Committee (ASTAC), which is a committee of AAL. Calls for proposals are published on the AAL website and through the Astronomical Society of Australia. The remaining astronomy time is available through a general access job queue.