NWO commits national computing space for two Nikhef projects

18 May 2022

Funding agency NWO has awarded computing time and storage capacity at the National Computer Facility to two Nikhef projects. These are the neutrino experiment ProtoDUNE and FuSE, a project for large-scale computing in particle physics and radioastronomy.

Both projects require a great deal of computing capacity, which can be requested from a number of computer centers and supercomputer facilities through SURF. In total, tens of millions of processor hours and more than ten thousand TeraBytes of online and offline data storage are involved. Part of this at Nikhef’s own computing center in Amsterdam.

FuSE is a joint program of Nikhef and radio astronomy institute ASTRON, in which computing power is organized for large experiments at CERN, the neutrino telescope KM3NeT and SKA, the large new radio telescope in Australia and Southern Africa. All of these projects provide massive amounts of measurement data that must be stored and analyzed.

In 2020, the FuSE initiative received a large start-up grant from the Minister of Education, Culture and Science’s National Roadmap.

ProtoDUNE is a test experiment at CERN in Geneva for the major new DUNE neutrino detector being built underground in the US. The experiment will study the basic properties of neutrinos, ghostly elementary particles with little mass that are virtually undetectable. In ProtoDUNE, the necessary techniques for this are being developed, among others by physicists and engineers from Nikhef.

ProtoDUNE also delivers a large stream of measurement data for analysis. The NWO award is intended for the next two years of research. In total NWO awarded computing capacity to fourteen proposals from a wide range of science fields, from biological simulations to medical imaging.