September 17, 2004

HPWREN receives new award from the National Science Foundation


The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced a four-year award (NSF number 0426879) as a follow-up to the currently NSF-funded High Performance Wireless and Research Network (HPWREN), which has been created and expanded over the past four years. This new award, in response to the Information Technology Reseach solicitation, has a strong research agenda on quality of service, but is also viewed a followon to the existing HPWREN award, and is titled "Integration and Analysis of Reliable Networking for Remote Science, Education, and First Responders."

The new project will be part of the HPWREN program, and conduct systemic interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research regarding the quality of service achievable by a highly functional wireless cyberinfrastructure environment. While doing so, it addresses several diverse scientific networking predictability needs for rural and remote areas. Examples include:

  • Time-critical astronomical observations of faint moving and transient events that require extremely fast optical follow-up to determine accurate location, and permit rapid spectroscopic analysis before the transient event disappears;
  • Strict real-time requirements for earthquake sensor data outrunning a seismic shock wave for advance warning systems;
  • Other remote research, such as sensors at biological field stations;
  • Rapidly deployable and reliable sensor and human-interface networks for real-life crisis management situations;
  • Education related activities, including with rural Native American reservations

    A significant network measurement and analysis component for this experiment based deployment into a living laboratory complements the activity and focuses on these cross-cutting applications to understand their requirements and reactions to the wireless network, with results then being used for the network parameterization. The already implemented HPWREN network will be made available as a large-scale systemic platform with its diverse and collaborative interdisciplinary and multi-institutional applications.

    The network and the applications to be studied are conducive to this type of systemic research, because they can be controlled, programmed, measured, and analyzed within specified parameters. The goals of the research are:

  • To better understand and enhance the complex end-to-end data communications requirements engendered in remote locations by various long-term and ad-hoc situations, and
  • To develop improved design strategies for reliable distributed network systems that span the urban-rural interface.

    As with the original HPWREN award, Hans-Werner Braun of the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center is the Principal Investigator, with Frank Vernon of the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography being Co-Principal Investigator. Richard Ellis, director of the California Institute of Technology Optical Observatories, and Ron Serabia, former Fire Captain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, will be Collaborating Investigators for this project.

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