The Exascale Computing Center currently hosts the Stanford PSAAP II program. PSAAP Stands for Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program; this is a large research project funded by the US Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The objective of the Stanford Center is to develop and demonstrate novel computational tools to investigate a poorly understood physical process involving the interplay of turbulence, radiation and particle transport. These studies may open new opportunities for efficiency gains in solar energy systems among other applications. Unlike conventional solar-¬receivers, in which a solid surface absorbs the solar radiation and transfers the heat to an operating fluid, particle-¬based receivers use fine grains suspended in the fluid to transfer heat throughout the fluid volume, enabling higher transfer rates and increasing efficiency. Our research focus is on scenarios in which turbulence and particles interact strongly forming regions of preferential particle concentration thus leading to non-uniform absorption of radiative energy and, therefore, to temperature gradients and buoyancy forces in the underlying air carrier. The Center seeks innovations in physical modeling, computer science and uncertainty quantification to enable predictive simulations of this process on current and next-generation supercomputers. It also includes a dedicated experimental campaign designed to validate the Center’s predictions, and the research on novel computational strategies (such as multifidelity approach) to characterize uncertainties and assess the confidence in the numerical simulations.
Stanford’s PSAAP II Center involve Faculty and students from the Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Computer Science and Mathematics Departments on campus, and a partnership with the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Texas Austin and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
The Center has successfully carried out simulations at an unprecedented level of fidelity by accessing the largest supercomputers in the U.S. We have developed and demonstrated a novel programming system (Legion) that enables an unprecedented ability to map sophisticated computational algorithms to heterogeneous computer architectures, such as those including millions of computing elements with CPUs and GPUs. This effort is the key to enable simulations on upcoming Exascale systems, computers which can perform a quintillion of floating-¬point operations per second, in both science and engineering applications. In parallel to the research effort, new graduate-¬level classes on computational science and engineering have been introduced at Stanford, and workshops and hackathons on various topics have been organized to disseminate our research results.
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The agreement continues a 15-year history of strong collaboration between NNSA laboratories and the Farm, including the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) and PSAAP programs.