Distributed GPU Volume Rendering of ASKAP Spectral Data Cubes

A. H. Hassan, C. J. Fluke, D. G. Barnes
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Australia, 312
arXiv:1012.2909 [astro-ph.IM] (14 Dec 2010)


   author={Hassan}, A.~H. and {Fluke}, C.~J. and {Barnes}, D.~G.},

   title={“{Distributed GPU Volume Rendering of ASKAP Spectral Data Cubes}”},

   journal={ArXiv e-prints},




   keywords={Astrophysics – Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics},




   adsnote={Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}


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The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) will be producing 2.2 terabyte HI spectral-line cubes for each 8 hours of observation by 2013. Global views of spectral data cubes are vital for the detection of instrumentation errors, the identification of data artefacts and noise characteristics, and the discovery of strange phenomena, unexpected relations, or unknown patterns. We have previously presented the first framework that can render ASKAP-sized cubes at interactive frame rates. The framework provides the user with a real-time interactive volume rendering by combining shared and distributed memory architectures, distributed CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs), using the ray-casting algorithm. In this paper we present two main extensions of this framework which are: using a multi-panel display system to provide a high resolution rendering output, and the ability to integrate automated data analysis tools into the visualization output and to interact with its output in place.
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