A Year in the Life of an HPWRENer
HPWREN technician and programmer James (Jim) Hale has been with the San Diego Supercomputer Center based team since 2002. First starting out as a volunteer (intrigued by the work conducted by his father Bud Hale on the project), Jim joined the team as a part-time electronics technician. During the past five years, Jim and HPWREN colleagues have worked alongside an array of collaborators ranging from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Cabrillo National Monument to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and San Diego Sheriff's Department.
"Before joining the HPWREN team, I worked as a network engineer and that was great. However, the experience that I have gained over the years with HPWREN have allowed me to expand my skills in both programming and on-site wireless deployments," says Jim. "I am really pleased to be a part of this team that has connected so many hard-to-reach science and education sites over the past five years."
"Without Jim's diligence and endurance, these types of deployments would be impossible," says Hans-Werner Braun. "Jim is a real enabler in his follow-ups and follow-throughs that such activities require."
For more information about the HPWREN deployment during the Horse Fire, please refer to:
"This activity was really exciting as we'd never worked with an underwater ROV over the wireless network before," says Jim. "It was great to be a part of an event that outreached to school children throughout the country."
For more information about the December 2006 HPWREN LIVE activity at the Point Loma tidepools, please refer to:
For additional photographs depicting this activity, please refer to:
Details regarding HPWREN's participation with the NSF exhibit at AAAS are available at:
To accomplish this, the design entailed a solar-powered unit with back-up batteries, small antennae, and a wireless access point to allow National Park Service rangers to participate in LIVE activities at the tidepools. Two ninety-degree cameras, which point into Zones 1 and 3 of the intertidal area, are viewable in real-time at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/.
Photographs depicting work at the tidepools site can be found at:
"This data network is basically a collection of routers on mountaintops with RF media as opposed to copper or fiber. Because of the environment, overall maintenance is more difficult because weather and terrain become obstacles not present in hard-wired networks," says Jim. "However, the benefit is the ability to extend to the hard-to-reach areas that aren't feasible via conventional network methods."
Clearly, neither the expansion nor the maintenance of the NSF-funded wireless network would be possible without the hard work of HPWREN team members like Jim.
-Kimberly Mann Bruch
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