Another weather supercomputer

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials released a presolicitation notice for another supercomputer.

The system would support NOAA's environmental modeling and supplement or replace platforms of the Forecast Systems Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.; the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J.; and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in Camp Springs, Md. NOAA officials plan to hire a single contractor to design, support, maintain and install the research and development high-performance computer system.

Officials expect a contract to be awarded in September 2005, with initial system installation beginning that fall. The leasing deal could be as long as nine years with option periods and worth up to $368 million.

The computer would go as fast as possible for the funds that are available, said William Voitk, a NOAA contracting officer. "The end result will be a system in the Top 500, but that's not NOAA's goal," he said.

Although performance may not be the sole reason for the system, Bush administration officials have made U.S. leadership in high-performance computing one of the federal government's goals for technology research and development.

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