HPCMP Frontier Projects receive extensive computational support that allows them to push the boundaries of science and engineering. In the case of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory NEPTUNE program, those boundaries go to Earth’s thermosphere -- 300 miles above sea level.

NEPTUNE (Navy Environmental Prediction sysTem Utilizing a Nonhydrostatic Engine) is a deep atmospheric model being used to develop and validate a weather prediction system to replace the Navy’s existing tool. The Frontier Project is testing a unique, whole atmosphere forecasting capability that would extend from the Earth’s surface to 500 km (311 mi) above. This would allow them to predict thermospheric disturbances at unprecedented scales.

This work requires massive amounts of data processing and computational power, both of which HPCMP can provide. This Frontier Project supports existing Navy and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) efforts by performing numerical experiments with NEPTUNE of the whole atmosphere. The project involves hindcasts at increasing horizontal resolution to validate new physical parameters, data assimilation techniques, and predictions. NEPTUNE is designed to support the U.S. Navy’s capabilities to characterize the current and future state of the battlespace environment to ensure 21st Century dominance.