So, here we are on your actual brink. My agency’s going to become a part of the military, I’ve got a president with his finger poised on the button, and you want me to walk across the park and tell him we want to hitch a ride with those very same Russians. Have I missed anything? — 2010
When the huge NEPTUNE Project, which is wiring up the West Coast, becomes operational, scientists will be able to listen to migrating whales, study dwindling fish stocks, spot never-before-seen microbes, watch for processes leading to major earthquakes and warn about approaching tsunami as well as pilot autonomous underwater vehicles.
John Delany’s Neptune Project has been folded into the Ocean Observatories Initiative. OOI is the National Science Foundation’s contribution to a global system of ocean observatories called Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). A $130 million construction phase for Neptune starts this year . It will measure volcanoes, currents and other activity off the West Coast using 850 miles of fiber and UAVs.
Join NPR’s Christopher Joyce and a team of scientists aboard their research vessel as they head out into the Pacific.
Listen to whales, bird songs, and insect communications (part two). Wild Sanctuary software can layer relevant recorded sounds over locations in Google Earth, and has over 3,500 hours of soundscapes from all over the world.
The OOI infrastructure would include cables, buoys, deployment platforms, moorings, junction boxes, electric power generation (solar, wind, fuel cell, and/or diesel), and two-way communications systems.
This large-scale infrastructure would support sensors located at the sea surface, in the water column, and at or beneath the seafloor. It would include the first U.S. multi-node cabled observatory; fixed and relocatable coastal arrays coupled with mobile assets.
Up to four Global Scale Nodes (GSN) or buoy sites are proposed for ocean sensing in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
High Performance Computing (HPC) is a term that arose after the term “Supercomputing“, and generally uses multiple processors linked together in a single system. Grid computing or “cloud computing“, uses nodes at different locations. Those technologies will be harnessed to deal with the vast amount of data generated by ocean observatories.
Larry Smarr’s recent presentations (Calit2 YouTube videos), such as this one (above) from Los Alamos, explain how Calit2 and Scripp’s Center for Earth Observations and Applications, can use OptIPuter switched fiber connections for applications in geoscience and bioscience.
Microsoft officially launched Mesh Computing on Live Mesh for developers this week (videos and other coverage). Microsoft says “cloud computing“, allow resources and applications to be stored and accessed on the internet, not a PC, in the “web connected” world.
Cray and Intel announced a multi-year agreement to incorporate Intel inside future Cray server systems. Cray was selected for University of Tennessee’s NSF funded HPC computing initiative to enable petascale science and engineering using Cray XT4 also used for seismic earthquake models (seismic earthquake models).
The DARPA funded Cascade program seeks to provide cost/effective petascale systems by 2010.
Dan Reed (Reed’s blog), has joined Microsoft Research as its new director of scalable and multicore computing (Microsoft Press release). The Universal Parallel Computing Research Center (UPCRC) at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) are expected to develop a new class of applications around parallel processing.
Reed served as director of NCSA at the University of Illinois and played a key role in the development of the NEESgrid (National Earthquake Engineering Simulation grid) project and the LEAD (Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery) project (Channel 9 interview and YouTube videos).
Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard, two of the most prominent telepresence vendors, say they are thinking about interoperability. The HP Halo telepresence system is backward compatible with existing videoconferencing deployments. Cisco also offers a gateway that let’s its TelePresence system talk to legacy videoconferencing gear, but interconnecting telepresence systems from different vendors is a bigger undertaking.
The Integrated Ocean Observing System’s Regional-Scale Nodes (RSN), off the coast of Washington and Oregon, would consist of seafloor observatories with various chemical, biological, and geological sensors linked with submarine cables to shore that provide power and Internet connectivity.
In addition, there would be an integration of mobile assets such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVS) and/or gliders with the GSN, RSN, and CSN observatories.
But at what cost?
Could the military take it over? A “secret room” on an ocean platform might be convenient for tapping virtually all transoceanic fiber. Are there legal and practical advantages to placing such an intercept platform in international waters?
The concept has likely been studied.
A state’s territorial sea extends up to 12 nautical miles from its baseline. The contiguous zone is a band of water extending from the outer edge of the territorial sea to up to 24 nautical miles from the baseline, within which a state can exert limited control of its laws and regulations.
An Exclusive Economic Zone extends to a distance of 200 nautical miles (370 km) out from its coast. A coastal nation has control of all economic resources within its exclusive economic zone, including fishing, mining, and oil exploration. However, it cannot regulate or prohibit passage or loitering above, on, or under the surface of the sea, whether innocent or belligerent, within that portion of its exclusive economic zone beyond its territorial sea.
Several submarine cable systems are now operational off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. Active systems include but are not necessarily limited to:
- The Tyco Global Network is a ring system with segment 1 going from Japan to Nedonna Beach, Oregon. Segment G6 is also trans-Pacific, while Segment G5 goes to California. Indian telecom company Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. acquired for $130 million the Tyco Global Network from Tyco in 2005. The Tyco Global Network-Pacific (TGN-P) cable, owned by VSNL, was recently upgraded from a lit capacity of 640 Gbit/s to 1 Tbit/s, but it has a total capacity of 7 Tbit/s.
- TPC 5 (map): Links Japan, Guam, Hawaii and mainland USA (in Bandon, Oregon) with Tyco Transpacific. KDD constructed TPC-5 with 78 telecommunications carriers from 46 countries, including AT&T of the United States.
- PC-1 The PC-1 Cable system is comprised of four segments, two of which traverse the Pacific Ocean each containing four fiber pairs. The system runs from Japan to Harbor Pointe, Washington. Pacific Crossing’s PC-1 cable connecting Japan and the U.S will be boosted to at least 390 Gbit/s on each segment by the first quarter of 2008. Now Pacific Crossing “has broken through the original design limits of the system, so we can get up to 3 Tbps at least.”
- Southern Cross has a total protected network capacity to 480 Gbps, connecting through Hawaii and terminating in the U.S. at Hillsboro, Oregon. They interconnect with the Pacific Lambda Rail in Seattle for connections to Internet2’s Abilene, with National Lambda Rail and CANARIE’s CANet4 (both of which use switched optical lightpaths).
- China-U.S. Cable Network (map): The $1.4 billion China-U.S transpacific fiber represents half of China’s international Internet capacity. The China-U.S. cable has its northern landing point at Bandon, Ore. and its southern landing point at San Luis Obispo, Calif.
- WCI Cable to Alaska. WCI’s Northstar fiber goes from Tillamook, OR to Juneau, Alaska. Crest owned WCI Cable which is now owned by Alaska Communications Systems.
Pending projects include:
- AT&T Transpacific fiber with NTT. In the first phase, a 17,000 kilometers cable from China’s east coast to the western US state of Oregon is set to go into service by August, in time to transmit high-speed data from the Beijing Olympics.
- Alaska Communications Systems between Anchorage, Alaska and Florence, Oregon. The system will have an ultimate capacity to transmit 64, 10 Gigabit wavelengths on each of the 4 fiber pairs for a total potential bandwidth of nearly 2.6 Terabits. Alaska Communications Systems purchased Crest Communications, owner and operator of North Star, one of three existing submarine fibers connecting Alaska to the continental United States. Northstar fiber goes from Tillamook, OR to Juneau (map with an operations center in Hillsboro.
- FLAG NGN System. The FLAG Next Generation Network (NGN), will comprise 4 systems with a capacity to carry 2.5 billion simultaneous voice calls. The buildout will double FLAG’s global network from 65,000 km to 115,000 km, and extend its reach to 60 countries. NG4 will be transpacific, US West Coast, Japan, China and Hong Kong.
- Unity Cable, a joint venture with Google, SingTel and other international telecommunications carriers. Google would own a dedicated portion of the five fiber pair which can be expanded up to eight fiber pairs, with each fiber pair capable of carrying up to 960 Gigabits per second. Unity hopes the cable will be in service by 2009.
- Verizon’s Trans-Pacific Express, from China to Nedonna Beach, Oregon. Trans-Pacific Express will cost $500 million and initially provide 1.28Tbps, with the eventual goal of having design capacity of up to 5.12Tbps and is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.
TeleGeography’s Research Service has global bandwidth charts while SubOptic 07 has various presentations. Fiber optic cable placement in Oregon’s Territorial Sea is jurisdictionally complicated. Cable routes traverse the offshore waters where the proposed monitoring sites will be built.
The DOD’s Wireless Adaptive Network Development (WAND) effort provides the networking technology for the DARPA Wireless Network after Next (WNaN), which is developing the technology for ultra-large (tens of thousands of nodes), highly scalable, adaptive, ad hoc networks using $500 walkie-talkie-size radios.
Additional DailyWireless articles include Underwater MIMO, Remote Ocean Viewer, Red Button Day, House Rejects Retroactive Immunity, NSA@Home, NSA Gets Blank Check, Space Capsule, Earth Day, HiSeasNet Goes Live, Supercomputer 07, Ships Impounded for Cable Cutting, AT&T: More Transpacific Cable, Google + SingTel = Unity Submarine Fiber, Verizon Fiber Crosses the Pond, Mediterranean Submarine Cables Cut, Space Cold War, Ring of Fire Earthquakes, Intel’s Rural Connectivity Project, Visualizing the Future, The Vision Project, iGrid 2005, Big Science Projects, The Semantic Web, Supercomputer Cells, Remote Ocean Viewer, Oceanographic Dead Zone, Earth Simulator, and Subducting The Zone.