HPC 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 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 the new NCAR supercomputing system

Allocations for use of the Derecho system, which will become operational next year, will be made in the fall of 2021. NCAR is soliciting proposals from the NCAR labs and from the university community for Accelerated Scientific Discovery (ASD) projects.

Allocations for Cheyenne

The deployment of the Cheyenne environment at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) January 2017 greatly expanded the resources and opportunities available to researchers in the atmospheric and related sciences. The Cheyenne HPC system provides more than 1.2 billion core-hours for allocation each year.

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

University researchers and NCAR scientists request allocations through the various opportunities described below.

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.

Eligibility. In general, any U.S.-based researcher with an NSF award in the atmospheric sciences or computational science in support of the atmospheric 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. Proposals for larger-scale projects are reviewed twice per year to become NCAR Strategic Capability projects.

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 Cheyenne system – about 160 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

CISL will make dedicated, large-scale resources available in the fall of 2021 on the recently announced new Derecho supercomputer as part of its Accelerated Scientific Discovery (ASD) initiative for university and NCAR research. ASD projects study a challenging and important problem in the atmospheric sciences or computational science in support of the atmospheric sciences.

Review these instructions before preparing a university proposal.

Large-scale, short-term university and NCAR projects also received ASD awards when the Cheyenne and Yellowstone systems went into production in 2017 and 2012 respectively.

See these links for abstracts of the 11 ASD projects on Cheyenne: