The First Data Centre in Space

Over 2 years ago for the first time humanity deployed a conventional data centre in space. The HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 – a set of HPE Edgeline Converged EL4000 Edge and HPE ProLiant machines, each with an Nvidia T4 GPU to support AI workloads was sent to the International Space Station in February 2021.

The Data Centre is the first edge computing system that is fully operational in outer space. One of the main jobs of the Data Centre is doing DNA analysis. Previously, astronauts would have their DNA tested once a month, and the data sent down for processing.

Now the processing process has become easier and it takes place on the ISS, and just sends the results down to Earth. It has been proven to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted by 20,000 times.

Fernandez said ” Now the scientists here on Earth are about to think about things that weren’t even conceivable before”, he said ”When I can process the data in 13 minutes and download the results in two seconds, I can monitor astronaut health daily instead of monthly”.

Researchers can also analyze the DNA of rodents and plants on the ISS. He said that image processing is another top case for space-based data centres as cameras in orbit collect massive numbers of images from Earth, but there’s a limit to how much can be downloaded. Seeing how the images are changing could predict natural disasters and areas where they will hit next, which could potentially save many lives.


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