Data center to be built for China's giant space telescope

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-25 17:10:30|Editor: Lu Hui
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GUIYANG, May 25 (Xinhua) -- A data processing center for China's giant space telescope -- the Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) -- is to be built near the telescope.

China National Astronomical Observatories under the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed an agreement Wednesday with the government of Gui'an New District in southwest China's Guizhou Province on the data center project.

The building is estimated to cost 160 million yuan (23 million U.S. dollars) and will be a comprehensive laboratory for storing and processing data from the world's largest radio telescope. The center will cover an area of four hectares.

Zheng Xiaonian, deputy director of the observatories, said FAST would produce tremendous amounts of data. The data center would process them and put them into different categories to send to various institutions and companies for in-depth research.

In the next 10 years, FAST Data Center would have 100 Petabytes of data storage and a computing power of 1,000 TFLOPS, he said.

Dubbed as China's Skyeye, FAST, built in a valley surrounded by naturally-formed karst hills in Guizhou's remote mountains, has a huge dish the size of 30 football pitches. It is made up of 4,000 individual metal panels. It enables astronomers to probe space for the faintest signs of life.

The development and operation of FAST, which was launched in September 2016, involved 41 Chinese institutions and companies.