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iSGTW Feature - Fusion of disciplines powers Russian grid infrastructure


Feature - Fusion of disciplines powers Russian grid infrastructure


The Fusion_RDIG virtual organization works to help Russian researchers working on the international ITER project. The ITER fusion device has been designed to produce 500 MW of fusion power; construction should commence in 2008.
Image courtesy of ITER

Established in September 2003, development of RDIG, or the Russian Data Intensive Grid, was at first driven by the high energy physics community, which still remains the largest user of the RDIG infrastructure.

Four years on, demand for RDIG infrastructure is now coming from scientists in nanotechnology, computational chemistry, biology, earth sciences, business and more.

The feasibility of fusion power

Igor Semenov, head of the Department of Physics and Engineering Problems at Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" (RRC KI), Russia's lead governmental organization for nuclear research, says grid computing has been a boon for his team's research.

"The load on RRC KI computing resources was growing, but thanks to our work on the grid infrastructure we could involve the computing resources of other institutions, like the Skobeltsin Institute of Nuclear Physics at Moscow State University. As a result, we can solve our problems about 50 times faster."

RRC KI led the initiative to create Fusion_RDIG a virtual organization established to serve Russian physicists participating in fusion research as part of ITER, an international project aiming to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power and involving the European Union, Japan, China, India, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

The Fusion_RDIG VO uses RDIG to do numerical optimization of thermonuclear installations and modes of their operation. Optimization is done for 120 parameters using the most advanced generic algorithms. So far, 7500 optimization variants have been analyzed using up to 70 processors simultaneously.

RDIG participation at events like the International Economical Forum in St Petersburg has increased visibility of the Russian grid infrastructure, helping to attract new communities including biologists, nanotechnologists and thermonuclear physicists.
Image courtesy of RDIG

Strong ties with industry, government and scientific communities

RDIG coordinator Viacheslav Ilyin says RDIG will continue to focus on encouraging similar new and cutting edge applications.

"New application areas, like nanotechnologies, are center of attention for the RDIG consortium," he says.

"Such innovative developments increasingly involve numerous classical scientific disciplines, which generates a growing need to create multidisciplinary teams-including researchers, engineers and businessmen-to develop and promote new technologies and materials for use in our daily life, for industry, community and basic human needs."

Ilyin says strong ties with both government and business have offered RDIG extra opportunities for growth.

"Our participation at events like the 11th International Economical Forum, held in St Petersburg in June 2007, has given us unique chances to establish deep contacts with business and at a governmental level," he said. "RDIG, as a prototype of the Russian national grid initiative, has entered a new stage of grid deployment as Russia also enters the nanotechnology world."

RDIG, or the Russian Data Intensive Grid, is Russia's first national computer infrastructure and operates as part of Enabling Grids for E-sciencE.

Since late 2006, RDIG has worked with RRC KI, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, the Skobeltsin Institute of Nuclear Physics at Moscow State University, the Institute of High Energy Physics, the Institute of Mathematical Problems in Biology, the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, the St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Institute of Nuclear Research, the Lebedev Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences, the St. Petersburg State University Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, the RAS Geophysics Center, the Novgorod State University and the Institute of Chemical Physics Problems, spanning 15 cities across Russia.

- Tatiana A. Strizh, RDIG

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