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.

Recent Image

November 2021 sunset as seen on Volcan Mountain

HPWREN Retrospective:
20 Years of HPWREN Collaborations with Firefighting and Other Public Safety Agencies

October 28, 2021


This article summarizes the somewhat unusual collaboration between a research project at the University of California San Diego and first responder agencies over the past approximately 20 years. Starting in 2000, the UCSD High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) informally collaborated with wireless communications staff of firefighting and County agencies, specifically via the Emergency Command Center of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, as well as the San Diego County Sheriff Department's Regional Communications System. While summarizing activities, milestones, and accomplishments the article includes many "for more details look here" links. As the collaboration progressed over time, in 2010 the County of San Diego contributed funding for additional cameras and other sensors to augment what HPWREN already had in place. Around that time HPWREN had a significant number of fire stations connected, which then led to San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) supporting a substantial buildout of connectivity, cameras, and weather sensors for the San Diego County area, to encompass as many local, state, and federal fire stations as possible. The continuation of this buildout is by now directly supported via San Diego County, SDG&E, and fire agencies..

HPWREN Time Lapse or

Live Stream Videos

Fires, weather conditions, flooding, and other public safety conditions are scenarios where real-time sensor data distributions can become important aspects for situational awareness. HPWREN can now provide live feeds from most of its cameras, in addition to the post-processed videos shown at:

20210629 Cloud domes buildup in the San Diego Mountains area

This is a time lapse animation of once-per-minute images which focus on cloud domes buildup in the San Diego Mountain area on 29 June 2021, as seen by four HPWREN cameras on Toro Peak and Monument Peak in the top row, as well as Cuyamaca Peak and Lyons Peak in the bottom row. The time series extends from 9:00 to 21:00 and is shown at 10 frames per second on a 4k canvas.

This video is best viewed on a large high resolution screen.

More animations can be found at

HPWREN Web Cameras

Recently installed 360 degree view web cameras on Chino Hill.

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