March 14, 2011


After providing a wireless research platform and enabling cyberinfrastructure for more than ten years, HPWREN is entering a new phase of its life cycle. HPWREN was made possible and benefited greatly from centralized funding by the National Science Foundation; however that funding is coming to an end later in 2011. NSF deserves substantial praise for this long support period, which allowed HPWREN to be an enabling cyberinfrastructure for many activities, ranging across basic research, applied research, education and engineering, environmental sciences, ecology and public safety. Many of the HPWREN news updates speak to the successes that have been achieved over the years.

To ensure the basic network infrastructure can continue to support the vital research and public safety projects that rely on it, SDSC established a sustainability working group in late 2009. The working group's efforts resulted in a tiered, user-paid "recharge" model, providing for basic upkeep. SDSC is working with the HPWREN user community to transition to this new model during 2011. In order to make the system as affordable as possible for its users, expenses, including staff, are being reduced to a minimum necessary to accomplish basic upkeep of the network. We expect that staff activities not related to direct maintenance of the existing infrastructure will in the future need to be funded by separate grants/projects.

In an attempt to integrate the non-basic-infrastructure components, including creating a better ability for component funding, we are re-focusing on the Applied Network Research structure as an umbrella for future infrastructure improvement and research. ANR predates HPWREN at SDSC as the overall entity established by Hans-Werner Braun (HPWREN Principal Investigator) to cover HPWREN and his other research activities. Reviving ANR does not portend a change in people, just a calibration of focus to better accommodate new realities. HPWREN was, and is, part of ANR.

Hence this creates an easy opportunity to somewhat restructure things into the already existing ANR entity, and dividing HPWREN into infrastructure and other (e.g., sensors/cameras, LIVE, ....) components, permitting the latter to exist on their own. A key aim is to create the potential for writing separate proposals that can stand alone, rather than viewing everything in an HPWREN context. In the new model HPWREN will be the entity for the basic network infrastructure, funded by recharge fees, and other activities fall into the different parts of ANR. We are currently transitioning significant portions of content from the HPWREN web site to the ANR site. The ANR web pages are works in progress at this time, and will change more in the future.

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