April 22, 2013
The Raspberry Pi Planet Simulator Cluster
Following a suggestion by "arcticio" on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum we've just constructed a small cluster of Raspberry Pi single board computers and set it to work simulating the climate of Planet Earth. Consider it as the econnexus.org contribution to Earth Day 2013!
The open source software package we're using is the "Planet Simulator" from the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg. According to arcticio it's:
A [climate] model with a medium complexity and resolution. Simple simulations run really fast. Also it is easy to design experiments, no sea ice, no Himalayas, bigger earth, another orbit, etc.
To get the individual members of our small cluster of Raspberry Pis communicating with each other we referred to the instructions on how to make a "Raspberry Pi Supercomputer" provided by Prof. Simon Cox of the University of Southampton. If you'd like to construct something similar yourself explicit instructions on how to go about it are available as part of our Distributed Arctic Sea Ice Model project. Here's a snapshot of the end result, after the Pi Planet Simulator Cluster was left running overnight:
The Planet Simulator also built and ran just fine for us on Scientific Linux and Mac OS X. We'll leave experimenting with it on Windows to another day! In the meantime there a multitude of other uses that the Planet Simulator could be put to.
Does anyone have any bright ideas?
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