Designing and Developing a Portal for the Polar Grid High Performance Computing System at Elizabeth City State University
Polar Grid is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program funded partnership of Indiana University (IU) and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) to acquire and deploy the computing infrastructure needed to investigate the urgent problems in glacial melting. The grid will be comprised of ruggedized laptops and computer clusters deployed in the field in the Polar Regions and two large scale computing clusters for detailed analysis in the U.S. – one to be installed at IU, and the other at ECSU. This installation will give ECSU a 5 Teraflop MSI High performance computing system, building on its distance education and undergraduate laboratory infrastructure to create tremendous outreach capabilities.

Accessing this computing cluster will entail the development of a grid portal to provide security, access to data, and the ability to process data along with education and outreach functions. Development of this portal will start with the documentation of terms, processes and software needed to develop a portal and understand what the grid is. The project will then progress to producing XML page structures to display processed data acquired during expeditions in Greenland and Antarctica. Another aspect will be the development of “IGoogle Gadgets” simulating the portal user environment and the process of converting that gadget into an RSS feed.