Idle home computers are being sought to help search through mountains of astronomical data.
The Skynet project involves using the spare processing capacity of computers as a giant, distributed supercomputer.
PCs joining Skynet will scour the data for sources of radiation that reveal stars, galaxies and other cosmic structures.
“As we design, develop and switch on the next generation of radio
telescopes, the supercomputing resources processing this deluge of data
will be in increasingly high demand,” said Professor Peter Quinn,
director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in a statement.
“SkyNet aims to complement the work already being done by
creating a citizen science computing resource that radio astronomers can
tap into and process data in ways and for purposes that otherwise might
not be possible,” he added.
Those signing up to help will download a small program that
will get a computer looking through data when that PC is not being used
for anything else.
ICRAR said the Skynet program was small and should not slow
down any PC it is running on. Also, it said, data would be split into
small packets to ensure it did not swamp a participant’s net connection.
So this guy wants to insert a program onto every computer in the world, linking them all together for something called “Skynet”? Yeah, that’ll end well. Thanks to Paul F. for the tip.