LESIA Observatoire de Paris-PSL CNRS Sorbonne Université Université de Paris

Green Flash

The main goal of Green Flash was to design and prototype emerging technologies for a real-time control (RTC) system targeting the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) Adaptive Optics (AO) instrumentation. To build this critical component of the telescope operations, the astronomical community is facing technical challenges, emerging from the combination of high data transfer bandwidth, low latency and high throughput requirements, similar to the identified critical barriers on the road to Exascale.

A team at Observatoire de Paris has been coordinating this project between 2015 and 2018 and funded under the Horizon 2020 European FET-HPC program. The project received a 3.8M€ grant from the European Commission and has gathered the efforts from 4 partners in Europe including The University of Durham in the UK, Microgate an Italian SME and PLDA-Accelize a French SME.

With Green Flash, our team in Europe has proposed technical solutions, assessed enabling technologies through prototyping and assembled several full scale demonstrators.

Following the final review meeting held in Luxembourg on 5 March 2019 and based on the review report drafted by a panel of experts, the Commission has decided to consider this project as finalized with the following general assessment: “the project has fully achieved its objectives and milestones, and, overall, the partners made an excellent work in achieving their objectives.”

The main technological achievements of the project include the development of prototype clusters for HPC using three different hardware acceleration technologies (FPGA, GPU, and Intel MIC) coupled with smart interconnects.

In their review the panel of experts has noted that: “the quality of the results - as judged by the deliverables and the presentations at the review meeting - is high".

Thanks to this major breakthrough in applied HPC, the team at Observatoire de Paris has already passed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for MICADO (ELT first light instrument) and has partnered with Microgate to pass the PDR for the Keck next generation AO RTC. There are also open collaborations with the Subaru telescope (Japan), Barcelona Supercomputer Center (Spain) and the MAVIS project (Australian instrument for VLT).