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HPC Midlands turns geo-data challenge into environmental planning tool

Big datasets of aerial photography and LiDAR imaging are rapidly processed with HPC Images © Bluesky International Limited

In partnership with HPC Midlands and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany), aerial mapping company Bluesky is exploring the power of supercomputers to process and deliver 3D images for a range of environmental applications.

The collaboration has already succeeded in devising workflows to create region-wide sun-shadow maps – invaluable tools when investigating the optimum location for solar panel installations.

Producing these maps requires the processing of huge datasets, hence the need for supercomputers – as James Earl-Fraser, Business Development Associate at HPC Midlands explains:

“New sensors such as those employed by Bluesky and the analysis techniques devised by KIT are generating larger volumes of data than ever before. In order to derive value, there is a growing need for automatic and efficient processing such as that offered by high performance computers.”

Following the success of the sun-shadow map project, Bluesky is exploring the use of high performance computers to scale up existing workflows to help create and maintain other key datasets such as the National Tree Map, air pollution models and thermal heat loss surveys.

HPC Midlands – based on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Parks – is an EPSRC Regional Centre of Excellence for High Performance Computing.

The Centre offers pay-as-you-go cloud access to Hera – a 3,008 core supercomputer – as well as unlimited technical support and a network of local experts in software development, computer-aided design, product prototyping, and research analysis.

Hera provides rapid results on small or large scale computational problems and supports ambitious modelling and simulation activities.

Funding opportunities are available to support projects with the Centre, and HPC Midland’s clients include universities, research organisations and private industry across the country which are now achieving market opportunities faster and cheaper than ever before.

If you would like to find out more about how the power of high performance computing could help to drive your business forward, register to attend the HPC Midlands Industry Breakfast on Tuesday 16 June.