Geothermal Cooling and Outer Space

Can heat from the earth enhance our knowledge of space? A project being undertaken by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) indicates that it can. The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, or ASKAP, is a new radio telescope that’s expected to help answer questions about the early life of the universe and to investigate cosmic magnetism and some of the predictions of general relativity. The telescope will consist of 36 antennas in Western Australia’s Mid West region, and they’ll be transmitting their findings to a supercomputer in Perth. Trouble is, Perth is short of water, so cooling the supercomputer with the city’s water supply is not an ideal option. Instead, according to British IT source The Register, CSIRO will be cooling the computer with a geothermal system hooked up to an aquifer 100 meters below the surface.