German Scientific Team Using NVIDIA Tesla GPUs to Land, Navigate Moon Rover, and Process 3D Lunar Images as Part of Google Lunar X PRIZE
BERLIN, GERMANY, Mar 27, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --NVIDIA today announced that NVIDIA(R) Tesla(R) 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
Boehme, 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 at the Google Lunar X PRIZE
About NVIDIA Tesla GPUs
NVIDIA Tesla GPUs are massively parallel
accelerators based on the NVIDIA CUDA(R) parallel computing platform.
Tesla GPUs are designed from the ground up for power-efficient, high
performance computing, computational science and supercomputing,
delivering dramatically higher application acceleration for a range
of scientific and commercial applications than a CPU-only approach.
Today, Tesla GPUs power three of the world's top five supercomputers.
More information about NVIDIA Tesla GPUs is available at the Tesla
website. To learn more about CUDA or download the latest version,
visit the CUDA website. More NVIDIA news, company and product
information, videos, images and other information is available at the
NVIDIA newsroom. You can also follow us on Twitter (@NVIDIATesla).
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) awakened the world to computer
graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Today, its processors
power a broad range of products from smartphones to supercomputers.
NVIDIA's mobile processors are used in cell phones, tablets and auto
infotainment systems. PC gamers rely on GPUs to enjoy spectacularly
immersive worlds. Professionals use them to create 3D graphics and
visual effects in movies and to design everything from golf clubs to
jumbo jets. And researchers utilize GPUs to advance the frontiers of
science with high performance computing. The company has more than
4,500 patents issued, allowed or filed, including ones covering ideas
essential to modern computing. For more information, see
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or SEC, including its Form 10-K for the fiscal period ended January
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