Tuesday, March 27th 2012

NVIDIA Helps Power Bid for 2015 Moon Mission -- and $30 Million in Prizes

NVIDIA today announced that NVIDIA Tesla GPUs are being used by a team of German scientists participating in a global competition to land a robotic rover on the moon by 2015.

Developed to foster a new era of lunar exploration, the Google Lunar X PRIZE offers the largest international incentive prize in history. A total of $30 million will be awarded to the first privately funded teams that safely land a rover on the surface of the moon, drive the rover 500 meters over the lunar surface, and transmit detailed video, images and data back to Earth for further study.

A team of 100 German scientists, engineers and developers has formed the Part-Time Scientists (PTS), one of 26 teams from around the world participating in the contest. To help ensure its success, the PTS team has deployed NVIDIA Tesla GPUs in several of the servers and workstations in its mission-control center where the Asimov rover will be operated. Tesla GPUs will accelerate the mission's computationally intensive applications, such as simulating vehicle navigation, monitoring positions of the rover in real time, and processing and transmitting high-resolution video and images.

"NVIDIA GPUs will be instrumental in helping us land the Asimov rover safely and allowing us to calculate a wealth of detailed information to enhance our understanding about the lunar surface," said Robert Böhme, team leader of the PTS team. "At the same time, we will demonstrate the amazing scientific accomplishments that are possible with modern, high-performance GPU technology."

The PTS team will benefit from the Tesla GPUs at all stages of the mission. During preparation and planning, GPUs will be used to simulate millions of different mission scenarios. This will enable the team to improve launch and landing techniques by, for example, adjusting the timing and duration of thruster burns for course corrections, while minimizing the margin of error.

Once Asimov has reached its destination, the PTS team will use the computational power of Tesla GPUs to navigate and monitor the rover's activities and generate highly detailed lunar maps from the transmitted stereoscopic 3D images.

Quickly processing and analyzing the massive volume of video produced by the Asimov -- and sending back new navigational directions -- is critical to the success of the mission. Any delay could divert Asimov from its correct course or, in the worst case, increase the chances of it hitting an obstacle that could force PTS to abort the mission.

With NVIDIA GPUs, PTS expects to achieve a 5-10X speed up in the processing of the massive video feeds produced by the rover. Only GPU-based computing systems have the computational power required to process and deliver this information cost-effectively in real time.

About The Google Lunar X PRIZE
The $30 million Google Lunar X Prize was created in 2007 by the X PRIZE Foundation with the goal of creating lunar exploration missions that are least 90 percent privately financed. There are currently 26 teams from 17 countries in the competition. A $20 million grand prize will be awarded to the team that fulfills all contest requirements on or before Dec. 31, 2015. More information is available here.
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19 Comments on NVIDIA Helps Power Bid for 2015 Moon Mission -- and $30 Million in Prizes

#1
hhumas
so nvidia is going for bigger objectives
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#2
Steevo
No, Nvidia is grabbing at press headlines, AKA, grand standing.
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#3
Casecutter
Well let hope color intensity is high on the list. Consider we've never had excellent color differentiation and that would be an interesting thing to actually grasp and marvel at some 40 years later.
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#4
Delta6326
I really can't wait to see the results of this. I think its about time someone sends another man or 2 to the moon.
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#5
nt300
by: Delta6326
I really can't wait to see the results of this. I think its about time someone sends another man or 2 to the moon.
How so? They were asked to leave the last time Neil Armstrong went up. This is all a cover up.

I will quote on facts:
"Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large objects were watching them after having landed, near the moon module. But this message was never heard by the public, because NASA censored it."
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#6
Inceptor
Domo arigato Mr Bizarro.
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#7
Yo_Wattup
Does anyone even use AMD workstation GPUs? I don't even know what they're called... they must be rubbish.

All I see in professional scenarios is tesla tesla tesla tesla...
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#8
Inceptor
Teslas are the compute cards, used to enhance the compute power of workstations and larger systems; HPC.
The NV workstation graphics cards are the 'Quadro' brand name.
The AMD workstations graphics cards are the 'Fire' brand name
Posted on Reply
#9
Benetanegia
by: Inceptor
Teslas are the compute cards, used to enhance the compute power of workstations and larger systems; HPC.
The NV workstation graphics cards are the 'Quadro' brand name.
The AMD workstations graphics cards are the 'Fire' brand name
"FireGL". See, you haven't heard about them as much either. j/k
Posted on Reply
#10
TurdFergasun
by: Benetanegia
"FireGL". See, you haven't heard about them as much either. j/k
thats cause neil armstrong and major league baseball have conspired to keep fireGL from the public. now who wants to watch me hit some home runs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riNIjE-J4NQ
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#11
SaiZo
Cool! However, on the other end: "Wolowitz - Damn, crashed the new rover.."
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#12
EpicShweetness
Whoa WHOA WHOA!! Lunar X-prize?!?
Why are we aiming bigger when the point of the original X-prize was to see if we could blast any joe shmoe into space? What ever happened to that, I'm still waiting to purchase my ticket!

Any way, good job Nvidia on whore'n some attention :nutkick:
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#13
NC37
Well since NASA and other space agencies fail at progressing space exploration, its about time for private sector to get into it with some real serious goals.

All so that when the private sector makes big advances into space, the agencies can then muscle control back and ruin it once again.

FireGL does get used. I've ran into a few professionals over the years that will not use nVidia because of certain bugs or quirks with their software that AMD/ATI didn't have. But yeah, it does seem like we hear less about them nowadays.
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#15
Yo_Wattup
by: Inceptor
Teslas are the compute cards, used to enhance the compute power of workstations and larger systems; HPC.
The NV workstation graphics cards are the 'Quadro' brand name.
The AMD workstations graphics cards are the 'Fire' brand name
Whatever... why don't I see many of amd's competing cards of ****Tesla*** then?
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#16
THE_EGG
by: nt300
How so? They were asked to leave the last time Neil Armstrong went up. This is all a cover up.

I will quote on facts:
can you send me a link on the article? I'm interested in reading the whole thing :)
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#17
DannibusX
They're gonna send ROB to the moon.

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#18
Inceptor
by: Yo_Wattup
Whatever... why don't I see many of amd's competing cards of ****Tesla*** then?
Because AMD doesn't sell Tesla equivalents...
Posted on Reply
#19
Benetanegia
by: Inceptor
Because AMD doesn't sell Tesla equivalents...
They do. They are called FireStream.

The last one is based on HD5000 series, so you are 50% right. It makes him almost 100% correct though, since they are not popular, AMD didn't even bother making one based on HD6000 series. That being said, we should see FireStream cards based on Tahiti again, it was designed with compute in mind.
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