January 10, 2001

La Jolla Native American Reservation Collaborates with UC San Diego

High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network is Extended to Reservation's Learning Center

lj learning centerLocated just below Palomar Mountain at 2400 feet, the La Jolla Native American Reservation's Learning Center serves both young and old - with a rather extensive book selection and a computer lab that now has high-speed Internet access via UC San Diego's High Performance Research and Education Network (HPWREN). Because of the learning center's remote location, however, extending HPWREN to the site was quite a challenge for Hans-Werner Braun and his colleagues.

la jollaWith land extending from deep valleys of 2000 feet to open mountain ridges of 5100 feet, the La Jolla Native American Reservation is one of the most scenic areas in San Diego county.

"There are no line-of-sight views of existing microwave towers from the site," explained Braun, HPWREN principal investigator. "And, we weren't in a situation to provide electric grid power on the mountain ridge edge of the reservation."
Networking Challenge = Engineering Opportunity

On the other hand, Braun said, this challenge also provided the HPWREN team with an opportunity to create a self-contained mountain relay powered by solar arrays and batteries. Designed by Todd Hansen, the solar-powered system was initially deployed in a test location.

Once the solar-powered system was in working order, it was moved to Palomar Mountain for deployment.

palomar mountain antennas
pouring concreteLa Jolla tribal members worked closely with the HPWREN team on preparation and deployment of the HPWREN solar-powered system and antennas that now provide the reservation's learning center with high-speed Internet connectivity. "We would have never been able to accomplish the feat of deploying a system in such a remote area - without the help of the La Jolla tribal members," said Braun. "We feel fortunate to have such great Native American reservation collaborations like the ones we currently have with La Jolla, Pala, and Rincon."

installing poles

Connectivity Opens Door for Education Programs

"The UC San Diego collaboration with La Jolla provides an opportunity for our learning center to receive access to technology and capabilities that we otherwise would not have in our remote county area," said Jack Musick, La Jolla Tribal Chairman. "We look forward to building educational programs that allow both our children and adults to take advantage of the connectivity and learn more about how they can use computers and the Internet."

Geneva Lofton Fitzsimmons, La Jolla Tribal Member and American Indian Outreach Coordinator at UC San Diego, agrees with Musick. "It is very important for our tribe to maintain the education necessary to keep up to speed with today's booming technology era," she said.

"We are working hard to ensure that Native American children and adults are given adequate educational opportunities," said Fitzsimmons. "And, projects like this help us to do just that."

Additional photographs regarding the La Jolla Native American Reservation's connection to HPWREN are available at http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/Photos/sites.html#Jolla.


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