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Nousha AfshariWith funding from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a Major Research Instrumentation award from the National Science Foundation, and startup funds from California State University Fullerton, GWPAC has completed a major upgrade and expansion of its local computing cluster, the Orange county Relativity Cluster for Astronomy (ORCA). 

Compute nodes of the ORCA computing clusterThe machine, housed in the University Data Center, now has more than 1500 gigabytes of memory, more than 30 terabytes of local storage, and 576 compute cores that together are capable of more than 7 trillion operations per second. This more than doubles the number of student projects that ORCA can support, including simulations of merging black holes and neutron stars, gravitational-waveform modeling, and LIGO detector characterization algorithms. 

A team of GWPAC students assisted in assembling, cabling, and testing the new hardware on Friday October 17 and Monday October 20. After benchmarking and temperature testing, ORCA is now again producing gravitational-wave science results.