NSF Reports

Volume 5, Issue 1
February 9, 2009

The Western Hemisphere Research and Education Networks (WHREN)-Links Interconnecting Latin America (LILA) Report summarizes activities from participating networks. The WHREN-LILA Report is published under National Science Foundation (NSF) Award # 0441095 and Academic Network at São Paulo (ANSP) award Projeto Fapesp no. 04/14414-2.

February 2009 Issue:


WHREN-LILA Activities

The adoption of cyberinfrastructure tools is changing the practices of science towards network dependent collaborations to support data intensive science. This phenomenon has started to accelerate as a result of the international researcy network connections providing a high-availability science and engineering research and education production environment to support science in the western hemisphere.

Environmental Sensor Networks: In the U.S., the WATERS and the GLEON lakes research projects are creating and sharing knowledge with similar projects in Argentina (see The Pan-American Sensors for Environmental Observatories (PASEO) Workshop report at https://eng.ucmerced.edu/paseo/). In Costa Rica, an environmental sensor network will be installed at the La Selva rain forest. This sensor network will draw many U.S. scientists to work at La Selva, as well as across the RedCLARA network infrastructure that connects Costa Rica to the U.S. (http://tracsvn.nhm.ku.edu/projects/sensornet).

These nascent collaborations that are in formation between the U.S. and Argentina, and also the U.S. with Central America, should produce notable scientific discoveries that will be the result of international collaborative science enabled by the WHREN-LILA network infrastructure.

High-Energy Particle Physics: The U.S. CMS program is now using two IRNC links to reach Brazil, CERN and the European Tier1s. Open AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) high-throughput network infrastructure in the U.S., such as the AtlanticWave and CaveWave, are being leveraged to make the connections to the WHREN-LILA and TransLight/StarLight IRNC links to establish layer 2 services between Brazil and CERN. Findings have informed the U.S. CMS team that the enhanced connectivity has provided them with more capabilities to divide work across the Tier1s in the U.S. and the Tier2s in Brazil, lessening the workload on the U.S. Tier1.

For more information about WHREN-LILA, visit http://www.ciara.fiu.edu/whren

FIU-CIARA Activities

Florida International University’s Dr. Heidi L. Alvarez of the Center for Internet Augmented Research & Assessment (CIARA) and Dr. Masoud Sadjadi of the Engineering’s School of Computer Science presented a seminar at the EduCause Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting; Participation and Collaboration: Social Learning for the 21 st Century on January 20-22, 2009 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference was attended by faculty, IT and libraries staff, instructional designers, and administrators from U.S. and international institutions to share ideas and explore teaching and learning with technology.

This year’s conference theme sought answers to questions such as; When it comes to cultivating participation and collaboration in the on campus, what works? How are faculty leveraging technology to create meaningful learner-centered experiences that bring students together over shared ideas? ELI is embarking on a community-wide effort to surface and synthesize those challenges facing teaching and learning with IT in higher education, and Global CyberBridges was identified to help with that pursuit following Educause’s publication of a white paper edited by Diana Oblinger (ELI Paper 8: September,2007)

Read the white paper at http://www.educause.edu/search?quick_query=Global+CyberBridges+White+PAPER&Image1.x=0&Image1.y=0

Please visit http://ciara.fiu.edu/events.html to see Dr. Alvarez and Dr. Sadjadi’s PowerPoint Presentations for the ELI preconference workshops http://net.educause.edu/Program/1016197/ .

For more information on FIU-CIARA, visit their website at http://ciara.fiu.edu/

AMPATH Activities

The State University of Sao Paulo (UNESP) is deploying a grid-enabled geographically distributed infrastructure testbed for leveraging research and dissemination activities in Grid Computing. The initial deployment has included a pair of servers located at AMPATH, in Miami. These servers will be dynamically configured using cutting-edge virtualization technologies and using the Open Science Grid (OSG) middleware to make the distributed clusters of virtual servers work together as a coherent, geographically distributed Grid infrastructure. AMPATH has been facilitating access to the Open Science Grid as a component of CHEPREO (the inter-regional Center for High-Energy Physics Research and Education and Outreach), http://www.chepreo.org/, for FIU’s Tier3 and Brazil’s Tier2 facilities to participate in the LHC CMS collaboration.

For more information about AMPATH, please visit: http://www.ampath.net/

AtlanticWave Activities

Participating in the UNESCO International Year of Astronomy e-VLBI demonstration (see PacificWave and CENIC activities below for more information about the event), the Arecibo antenna in Puerto Rico, with its network connection at the University of Puerto Rico to AMPATH in Miami, achieved another milestone with its performance. “ Arecibo’s performance was so solid that the correlator was switched to use Arecibo as the reference antenna during our limited source coverage”, stated Dr. Arun Venkataraman, Head, Computer DepartmentNAIC/Arecibo Observatory.

In May 2008, AtlanticWave in collaboration with StarLight/Translight and SurfNet, established an end-to-end vlan from Arecibo, in Puerto Rico, to JIVE, in the Netherlands. The NSF IRNC StarLight/Translight project, connecting the U.S. to Europe, is utilized for the connection to JIVE. Using its connection to AtlanticWave, Arecibo has participated in three e-VLBI events coordinated by JIVE, which included the TERENA conference, May 2008 and the International Year of Astronomy, January 2009. Arecibo achieved milestones of performance improvements in all three events. More information about the event can be found at http://www.jodrellbank.manchester.ac.uk/news/2009/IYA-e-VLBI/ and the links in the PacificWave article.

For more information about AtlanticWave, visit http://www.atlanticwave.net

CENIC and Pacific Wave Activities

In January 2009, as part of the opening ceremonies for the International Year of Astronomy, 17 telescopes in Australia, Asia, Europe, North American and South America conducted a nearly continuous 32-hour observation of three quasars which are some of the most distant objects known in the Universe. Using an astronomical technique called electronic, real-time Very Long Baseline Interferometry or e-VLBI, the participating telescopes observed the same region of sky simultaneously and allowed astronomers to generate images of these cosmic radio sources with up to one hundred times better resolution that images from the best optical telescopes. The data from each telescope was combined and processed in such a way that it simulated a telescope as large as the Earth. The ability to send data electronically and to process it in real-time has the additional advantage of providing data to astronomers within hours of conducting the observations, rather than weeks later via the traditional method of recording data onto disks and shipping it to a central location for processing.

The Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) coordinated these observations. The data from each telescope was streamed through high-speed networks to a central processor at JIVE in the Netherlands.

The sister telescopes of The DISH, located at Narrabri and Coonabarabran are two of the radio telescopes involved. CSIRO astronomers Dr Chris Phillips and Dr Tasso Tzioumis controled these radio telescopes remotely from Sydney. The University of Tasmania's 26 metre telescope near Hobart was the other Australian radio telescope taking part. The Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNET) provided the internet services for transmitting the data to Europe for real-time processing and used one of the SX-Transport links on their Translight/Pacific Wave connection to then get to CANARIE and then onto JIVE. In preparation for the event, several networking issues needed to be resolved including firewalling a server in CSIRO, installing an "Ethernet break" on CANARIE and fixing dropped packets on a switch at the ATCA.

Data from the three Australian telescopes were transferred over the AARNet3 network to the correlator at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) in the Netherlands using SXTransport, CENIC, CANARIE and SURFNet6 international links.

CSIRO astronomer Dr Chris Phillips notes; "This demonstration is an unprecedented and extraordinary feat of coordination, involving 17 telescopes and 28 data networks around the world."

For more on this extraordinary event, please see the following links:


For more information about CENIC, visit http://www.cenic.org
For more information, see the Pacific Wave website at www.pacificwave.net

Pacific Wave Activities

In December 2008, several demonstrations at the recent CINEGRID 2008 Workshop held in San Diego, California utilized Pacific Wave facilities for their demonstrations.

One session was "Telematics for Distributed Collaborative Audio Post-Production" and was a collaboration of UCSD/Calit2, UCI/Calit2, University of Washington/Research Channel, and Skywalker Sound. UWTV participated with CalIT2 and Skywalker Sound for their demonstration. In addition to the remote audio connection, they did an iHDTV link between Studio M in Seattle and the auditorium at CalIT2. The demonstration illustrated how post production audio could be done collaboratively over the Internet in real time. Each distributed audio workstation controlled a separate audio function (sound track, sound effects, vocal, etc). All sites had video display with time code. Most of the interaction between the sound engineers was via VoIP with exception of Seattle which included live video of the engineer via iHDTV. It was a very impressive demonstration.

The other session that utilized Pacific Wave was Global Visualcasting. NTT/GEMNET used 4K cameras in Japan at Keio University and San Diego at Calit2/UCSD and a 2K camera in Chicago at UIC/EVL. A research paper is progress that will discuss the results.

For more about the CINEGRID workshops, please see http://www.cinegrid.org/
For more information, see the Pacific Wave website at www.pacificwave.net

CUDI Activities

Maria Guadalupe Monter Flores, the Secretary of Education in the state, witnessed the entrance of the College of Science and Technology of the State of Mexico (CECyTEM), led by Mr. Javier Cruz Cepeda, Director General of CECyTEM, to the University Corporation for Internet Development AC (CUDI). CUDI is a promoter and the coordinator of Internet2 in Mexico. This action will enable the Directorate General of its campuses and CECyTEM Coacalco, Metepec, and Valle de Chalco Tultitlán solidarity in its first stage. The campuses will participate in the scientific and academic exchange of information with national and international institutions of the network, including 115 universities, research institutions from the public, private and social enterprises and a large academic network aimed at promoting the potential of new technologies in education.

The aim is that the 45 campuses of CECyTEM with videoconferencing equipment will also be able to share these benefits.

Read full article at http://www.cudi.edu.mx/boletin/2009/01_boletin_enero_04.html

For more information about the meeting, and other CUDI activities, visit http://www.cudi.edu.mx/

CLARA Activities

The Federal University of Río de Janeiro (UFRJ), a member of RedCLARA, and the University of Tsinghua, China, announced the creation of the Chinese-Brazilian Center for the Innovation of Technology, Climate Change and Energy.

The Center, located at the University of Tsinghua in Beijing received a nearly $ 1 million initial investment by the Brazilian Agency of Innovation, Research and Project Financing. The Brazilian part of the center will be in charge of the Coordination of Post-Graduate Engineering Projects (CPIP) of the UFR.

Segen Estefan, president of technology and research of the CPIP indicates that the seed of this cooperation started when the Chinese visited their scientific institution in Brazil and saw the projects in fields such as the Biocombustibles, the discovery of oil in deep waters and the sources of clean energy, all which coincide with the Chinese interests.

One of the main goals of the center is to raise the sources of information on Biocombustibles from Brazil and China in order to develop common approaches for their use. Also, research will be done to estimate the gas emissions of both countries. This data will be reported to their respective governments so that gas emissions can be reduced.

"We will increase the number of projects and the financing when the center starts to operate," said Estefan. "The physical infrastructure will also increase from an increase of activities and the exchange of researchers." It is anticipated that there will be an exchange of students and post docs between both countries.

"Both countries are as one in cooperation between the two universities but also the level of the governments of Brazil and China," ensures Estefan.

Read full article at http://apc-clara.reuna.cl/canal1.shtml?http://apc-clara.reuna.cl?AA_SL_Session=e343517e6013fa0699f5dd2abccc5dda&x=13306

For more information about CLARA, visit http://www.redclara.net

RNP Activities

The World Social Forum (WSF) started on 27 January and runs until February 1 at Belém do Pará, with an estimated audience of around 120,000 people and 5,680 participating organizations. The event has the support of the RNP, providing connectivity through the PoP-PA.

"The RNP is draining traffic from FSM by a connection of 102 Mbps. That is, the traffic generated by the event can go through our infrastructure to reach a customer of ours, another academic network or even a commercial network," explained Ari Frazão , the manager of the Center of Engineering and Operations (CEO) of the RNP. He also said that there was dedicated reserve bandwidth to ensure a slice of the current connection for the WSF.

The WSF takes place in the campuses of the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) and the University of Amazonia (UFRA) and has more than 2,400 activities (sessions, conferences, lectures, workshops, cultural and sporting events) proposed by organizations around the world .

With the slogan “Another world is possible,” the event brings together civil society represented by social movements, traditional peoples, NGOs, trade unions and religious groups of more than 150 countries from all continents. They will discuss the global economic crisis, climate change and alternative development models.

Read full article at http://www.rnp.br/noticias/2009/not-090127b.html

For more information on RNP, visit their website at http://www.rnp.br/en/index.php


The WHREN-LILA newsletter is intended to provide useful, up-to-date information about WHREN-LILA through short articles with web links and email addresses. Newsletters will be posted on the WHREN-LILA website (www.ciara.fiu.edu/whren). If you have colleagues who would like to subscribe to this monthly newsletter, send them to: http://www.ampath.net/mailman/listinfo/whren-today.

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