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A GPU-Computing Approach to Solar Stokes Profile Inversion

Brian J. Harker, Kenneth J. Mighell
National Solar Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719
arXiv:1208.0302v1 [astro-ph.SR], 1 Aug 2012

@article{harker2012gpu,

   author={"Harker},

   title={"{A GPU-Computing Approach to Solar Stokes Profile Inversion}"},

   year={2012},

   eprint={"1208.0302"},

   archivePrefix={"arXiv"},

   primaryClass={"astro-ph.SR"},

   SLACcitation={"%%CITATION=ARXIV:1208.0302;%%"}

}

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We present a new computational approach to the inversion of solar photospheric Stokes polarization profiles, under the Milne-Eddington model, for vector magnetography. Our code, named GENESIS (GENEtic Stokes Inversion Strategy), employs multi-threaded parallel-processing techniques to harness the computing power of graphics processing units GPUs, along with algorithms designed to exploit the inherent parallelism of the Stokes inversion problem. Using a genetic algorithm (GA) engineered specifically for use with a GPU, we produce full-disc maps of the photospheric vector magnetic field from polarized spectral line observations recorded by the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) Vector Spectromagnetograph (VSM) instrument. We show the advantages of pairing a population-parallel genetic algorithm with data-parallel GPU-computing techniques, and present an overview of the Stokes inversion problem, including a description of our adaptation to the GPU-computing paradigm. Full-disc vector magnetograms derived by this method are shown, using SOLIS/VSM data observed on 2008 March 28 at 15:45 UT.
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