University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > Digital Moon and the Challenges of Whole Planet Modeling

Digital Moon and the Challenges of Whole Planet Modeling

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Eiko Yoneki.

With advances in parallel processing hardware and software, it has been possible build physical models to explore larger and more complex systems. As a planetary scientist that studies the surfaces of planets, I have become interested in modeling the surfaces of whole planets. Orbital remote sensing satellites are providing detailed information regarding the 3-dimensional shapes and other physical properties of planetary surfaces. The challenge is to integrate these large datasets into a framework that can be used for analysis of these data, as well as physical models to better understand the observations.

I am currently involved with the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment on NASA ’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, which is the first instrument to comprehensively map the temperature of the surface of the Moon. We have used laser altimeter data to construct a 3-d mesh representation of the whole Moon (the Digital Moon) that we are using as a starting point for our modeling activities. Our approach uses ray tracing to calculate multiple scattering of solar and infrared radiation between surfaces to make the first realistic calculations of global lunar surface and subsurface temperatures as a function of time. The code is implemented in an MPI framework on our own 768-core linux cluster. Our challenge is to expand the scope of the model to seamlessly handle multiple resolution scales ranging from millimeters to hundreds of km.

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This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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