Supervisory authorities



Home > Scientific computing


published on , updated on


The CRAL distributes the following softwares.

Related to our instrumental projects:

- The exposure time calculator and the data reduction software of the OASIS instrument, an integral field spectrograph hosted by the William Herschel Telescope, La Palma, Spain.

- The python framework MPDAF that can be download using the gitlab server at CRAL. This framework provides tools to analyse MUSE/ESO-VLT data. It was developed for the MUSICOS ERC-AdG (PI: R. Bacon).


Related to our research activities:

- GNU Astronomy Utilites (Gnuastro) is a large collection of command-line programs and C/C++ libraries for generic astronomical data manipulation and analysis. Gnuastro is the only professional astronomical software fully conforming with the GNU Coding Standards and developed by Mohammad Akhlaghi (postdoc GALPAC 2016-2018). In particular it contains NoiseChisel which is a program for signal detection using a new noise-based approach introduced to the astronomical community in Akhlaghi and Ichikawa, ApJS, 220, 1 (2015).


Computing facilities

CRAL makes use of a 1200 core cluster, named the Common Computing Facility, which was funded by the LIO LabEx. This cluster is managed by the Science Computing service of CRAL.

In 2014, the LIO acquired a super-computer with outstanding performance for massively parallel computing: the Common Computing Facility (CCF). It is the company SGI that won the tender launched by the LIO, proposing a solution whose characteristics are as follows: 1152 cores for a computing power of 24 Tflops and a total distributed memory of 9 TB. In more detail, the CCF, an SGI ICE X, consists of:

  • 72 compute nodes, each with 2 Intel Xeon E5-2650v2 processors @ 2.6 GHz (8 cores) and 128 GB of RAM
  • 1 storage node of 300 TB disk space
  • 3 service nodes (login, administration)
  • 1 visualization node
  • All these nodes are interconnected by an infiniband network of FDR type.

The CCF was installed in 2 racks in the computing room at IPNL. The CCF was commissioned in autumn 2014, providing researchers and engineers with approximately 10 million computing hours per year.

In 2017, an extension of the CCF was installed. This extension was funded under the ERC advanced Grant TOFU supported by Isabelle Baraffe and put into service for the exclusive use of the researchers associated with this ERC. This extension consists of 4 new compute nodes, each with 2 Intel Xeon E5-2698 v4 processors @ 2.2 GHz (20 cores) and 128 GB of RAM.