Yellowstone resources | Climate Simulation Laboratory | University Community
NCAR Community | Wyoming-NCAR Alliance | Accelerated Scientific Discovery

The Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) provides large computing resources for university researchers and NCAR scientists in atmospheric, oceanic, and related sciences. To access these supercomputers, storage systems, and other resources, users must apply for allocations, which NCAR makes available through several facilities.

Applications are reviewed and time is allocated according to the needs of the projects and the availability of resources. Send questions about the following allocation opportunities to

Allocations for Yellowstone Resources

The deployment of the Yellowstone environment at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) greatly expanded the resources and opportunities available to researchers in the atmospheric and related sciences. The HPC system provides more than 600 million core-hours for allocation each year.

To better manage the resources available to the various CISL user communities, new allocation and accounting procedures were rolled out to coincide with the new NWSC requests. The procedures make it easier for users to request and track their resource usage and to help support their associated data management plans.

Allocations generally are required for access to the HPC, data analysis, visualization, and storage systems that CISL manages. Access to data collections via the Research Data Archive, Community Data Portal, and Earth System Grid may require separate registration for access to some data sets, but allocations are not required.

Climate Simulation Laboratory

The Climate Simulation Laboratory (CSL) is CISL’s premier opportunity for researchers seeking high-performance computing and data storage systems to support extremely demanding, high-profile climate simulations. These long-running simulations typically require millions of core-hours to complete and usually produce many terabytes of model output that must be stored for analysis and comparison with other simulations and with observations.

Eligibility. Researchers must have funding from NSF awards to address the climate-related questions for which they are requesting CSL allocations. CSL requests must satisfy additional eligibility criteria for use of this facility.

University Community

NCAR provides computing resources to the university community for investigations that are beyond the scope of university computing centers. University researchers have access to CISL’s computational, analysis and visualization resources and storage systems. See the University allocations page for details.

The CISL HPC Advisory Panel (CHAP) accepts requests for large allocations of NCAR resources every six months, in March and September. Check the CHAP site for the next submission deadline. More than 80 million core-hours are allocated during each semi-annual CHAP allocation cycle.

Eligibility. In general, any U.S.-based researcher with an NSF award in the atmospheric, geospace or closely related sciences is eligible to apply for a University Community allocation. There are some limited opportunities for those without NSF awards.

NCAR Community

NCAR investigators have access to CISL resources through allocations to the NCAR labs and have opportunities to submit requests for larger-scale, project-oriented allocations. Several larger-scale projects are selected as NCAR Strategic Capability projects.

NCAR’s share of the Yellowstone resource is approximately 170 million core-hours each year.

Wyoming-NCAR Alliance

The NWSC represents a collaboration between NCAR and the University of Wyoming. As part of the Wyoming-NCAR Alliance (WNA), a portion of the Yellowstone systems—about 75 million core-hours per year—is reserved for Wyoming-led projects and allocated by a University of Wyoming-managed process.

Details of the Wyoming process are available at the University of Wyoming web site.

Accelerated Scientific Discovery

Eleven large-scale, short-term university and NCAR projects that received 2012 Accelerated Scientific Discovery (ASD) awards began putting the Yellowstone system through its paces December 1, 2012. The ASD allocation opportunity will be available again with CISL's next HPC procurement.

Information about the 2012 projects is available on the following pages.