Real-time computing for Australian radio astronomy

Our Cray XC30 system, Galaxy, is unique in being the world’s only real-time, supercomputing service for telescopes used in astronomy research.  In fact, the telescopes used in the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) – precursor projects for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)-  would not be able to perform their observations, without Galaxy to process their data.

As well as providing for the reprocessing and research needs of the wider Australian radio astronomy community, including those of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer: Cray Inc. (USA)
Model: XC30 Series Supercomputer
Compute Processors: Intel Xeon E5-2690v2 ‘Ivy Bridge’ (10-core, 3.00 GHz), Intel Xeon E5-2690 (8-core, 2.6 GHz)
Computing Power: 200 TeraFLOPS
GPU Processors: NVIDIA K20X ‘Kepler’, 64 nodes with Intel Xeon E5-2690 host processors
Memory: 31.55 Terabytes (64 Gigabytes of DDR3-1866 per compute node, 32 Gigabytes of DDR3-1866 per GPU node)
Interconnect: Cray Aries interconnect
Network Topology: Cray Dragonfly
Weight: 1.7 tonnes/ cabinet
Power consumption: Circa. 50 kW/ cabinet
Local storage: Sonnexion 1600 Data Storage System – 1.3 Petabytes Lustre

The cabinet artwork on Galaxy, ‘Rainbow Serpent and Moon’ by Jesse Pickett, is a homage to the Centre’s close connection to the northwest of Western Australia. It has been designed to reflect ‘the sky above’, in reference to radioastronomy, one of the areas of science Pawsey closely supports.
Apply now

See more

Supercomputers to reflect different workflows and user requirements

Setonix (Phase 1)

Wajarri Yamatji visual artist Margaret Whitehurst produced the artwork for Setonix, inspired by the stars that shine over Wajarri country in Western Australia’s Mid-West.

See More


Garrawarla provides the latest generation of CPUs and GPUs, high memory bandwidth, increased memory, and local storage per node to allow MWA researchers to effectively process petabytes of data streamed from the MWA radio telescope.”

See More


GPUs are accelerators which provide huge amounts of compute power but require less electrical power to run in comparison to conventional CPUs. Topaz will provide users with enhanced GPU capabilities, in particular, AI, computational work, machine learning workflows and data analytics

See More