The Air Force is Loaning out its PS3 Super-Computer

When its not crunching data brought back by spy plane missions, the US Air Force's PlayStation 3 super-computer (nicknamed "Condor") is now being loaned out to universities so they can crunch slightly less dangerous data.

One of those institutions is the University of Dayton in Ohio, where it's being put to work creating "artificial neural networks".

The University of Massachusetts is another, assistant professor of physics Gaurav Khanna given access to Condor to help him model the effects of things like black holes colliding and ripples in space-time.

Khanna is full of praise for the toughness of the PS3, saying of his own PS3 super-computer (which uses 16 consoles in a machine called the "Gravity Grid") "They've been running almost continuously for four years now and it's a non-ideal environment. It's a lab, there are students." Not a single one of the consoles has needed replacement in that time.

Lucky they never need to connect to the PlayStation Network, then.

PlayStation 3 Clusters Providing Low-Cost Supercomputing to Universities [Govtech]