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, 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 Cheyenne and Yellowstone Resources

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

The Yellowstone system is in its final year of service, allowing researchers who started large projects on that system to complete them. Some limited opportunities are available for requesting extensions for work that must remain on Yellowstone.

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.

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 April and October. 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 has made dedicated, large-scale resources available on NCAR's new Cheyenne supercomputing system from January through March 2017 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.

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

Large-scale, short-term university and NCAR projects also received ASD awards in 2012 when the Yellowstone system went into production. Information about those projects is available on the following pages.