The High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN), a University of California San Diego partnership project led by the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, supports Internet-data applications in the research, education, and public safety realms.
HPWREN functions as a collaborative, Internet-connected cyberinfrastructure. The project supports a high-bandwidth wireless backbone and access data network in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties in areas that are typically not well-served by other technologies to reach the Internet. This includes backbone locations, typically sited on mountain tops, to connect often hard-to-reach areas in the remote Southern California back country.
San Diego State University's Mount Laguna Observatory after a snowfall seen from one of the HPWREN web cameras on 1/25/2017.
The network supports a wide range of network application requirements, ranging from the high-volume astronomical data generated by the Palomar Observatory, to a steady output of continuous, low-volume traffic from many devices such as earthquake and other environment-observing sensors, which deliver real-time data. HPWREN includes permanent sites as well as those created temporarily and on short notice, such as firefighter Incident Command Posts (ICPs). HPWREN saw use in several of the major wild fires to hit San Diego County across many years.
The network spans from San Clemente Island in the Pacific Ocean, via the southern California coast to the inland valleys, east toward the mountain elevations of almost 9,000 feet, and the remote desert, reaching almost to the Arizona border. The network's longest link is 72 miles in distance, from the San Diego Supercomputer Center to San Clemente Island.