From LOST to FOUND: Finding The Island Using Satellite Images and Supercomputers

As the hit ABC television show Lost begins to wrap up its 4th season, a few of us here at Sun started thinking about the ways HPC could be used to crack one of the show’s biggest mysteries — finding “The Island.”
One thought was that perhaps those looking for islands in the middle of Pacific Ocean would be able to find “The Island” by using high resolution satellite images.
High end image processing requires tremendous computing power. To find patterns and information in very large resolution images that humans cannot see requires lots of processing power. Using a cluster of Sun Fire x64 systems very, very large images can be split up across many computing elements to search for patterns. The sheer size of each image, multiplied by a number of images taken of a particular area (different times of day), requires significant storage capacity too. At that scale, a supercomputer could provide quick access and analyze the data.
And its not a pipe dream. The University of Arizona is researching how to use Sun’s HPC systems on very high resolution images when searching for signs of life and other objects on distant planets and moons.
The Oceanic Six, Ben, Charles and Penny Whidmore are spending millions of dollars trying to get to the island – maybe all they really need is some Supercomputing horsepower!


About Rich
FlexRex began his life as a cartoon character I created a Sun Microsystems. As the world's first "fictional blogger," he appeared in numerous parody films that made fun of the whole work-from-home thing. Somewhere along the line, the Sun IT department adopted FlexRex as their spokesman in a half-dozen security awareness films for employees. So when I left Sun recently, I started FlexRex Communications, a Marketing company in Portland, Oregon.

One Response to From LOST to FOUND: Finding The Island Using Satellite Images and Supercomputers

  1. Flex Rex says:

    If you want to figure out this show, check out this cool time machine theory:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: