Donate computing power to speed up the search for a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
Written by JT on March 25, 2020
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something! A group of developers at Navigraph have started a pro bono initiative inviting all members of the international flight simulation community to donate computing power to speed up the search for a vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19). The project is called Simmers Without Borders and is open for anyone in the flight simulation community – individuals, as well as organizations and companies. See this website for more information: simmerswithoutborders.org
The project wants to encourage members of the flightsim community to download a distributed computing client which connects to the established research project “folding@home” run by the Bowman Lab in St. Louis School of Medicine at Washington University. The client downloads a small part of a bigger research problem and uses the available computing power to crunch the numbers and return the results to the lab. At the lab, the results are compiled together with results from other contributing clients into the final solution of a protein dynamics simulation which ultimately contributes to speeding up the research for a vaccine against the Coronavirus.
“If there is something flight simulation enthusiasts have in abundance it’s computing power.” says Magnus Axholt, co-founder of Navigraph. He is referring to the multicore CPUs and powerful GPUs which are common in computers designed for gaming and simulation. “As much as we would like, we can’t always be up in the air. When we are not flying, we can set our powerful computers to do work for research.” Magnus continues.
To track progress, you are urged to enter the Team ID 245628 corresponding to Simmers Without Borders into your client software. All the work your computer does will count towards this Team ID and you will be able to follow the progress not only of your computer, but also that of other computers in the flightsim community, and that of other communities in the research project as a whole. Leaderboards are available on SimmersWithoutBorders.org as well as on foldingathome.org.
“Let’s show the world what the flight simulation community can do!” finishes Magnus in a video that was recently put online which also contains more information on what protein folding really is.
To start donating your computing power to speed up the search for a coronavirus vaccine – go to simmerswithoutborders.org.