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SXTransPORT extended to Hawaii, used in PTC demonstrations

AARNet News - 18 January 2005 - from David Lassner, CIO, University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaii has demonstrated Hawaii's first 10Gbps (billions of bit per second) connection outside the State. The new link, which connects Hawaii to Australia and the U.S. mainland, is part of the SX TransPORT project, a partnership between the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) and AARNet, Australia's Academic and Research Network. 

On January 10 the University of Hawaii first used the new connection for a remote microscopy demonstration between the Lariat project meeting in Honolulu and the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) at the University of California at San Diego. Between January 17 and 19, the link is being demonstrated for a variety of applications at the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) meeting at the Hilton Hawaii Village in Waikiki. 

David Lassner, University of Hawaii Chief Information Officer and Chair of the PTC 2005 conference thanked the many partners who helped bring this multi-year initiative to fruition. "Through SX TransPORT, our colleagues at AARNet and Southern Cross have provided the foundation for Hawaii to begin to participate in the continuing transformation of research and education through advanced broadband connectivity. Our collaborators in the Pacific Northwest and California are making it
possible for Hawaii and Australia to leverage this capability by assisting in acquiring the additional resources and support to connect SX TransPORT to US-based advanced networks and exchange points that reach the rest of the world. 

Lariat is the physical networking project being conducted by the Pacific NorthWest Gigapop as part of a $10m NIH award to Montana State University to enhance the capability for biomedical research in Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Hawaii. The remote microscopy demonstration on January 10 permitted participants at the Lariat meeting at the East-West Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus to view in real-time the images from a multi-million dollar laser scanning electron microscope at the NCMIR in San Diego. This demonstration used over 500Mbps (millions of bits per second) to send the uncompressed data from San Diego to Honolulu. The Lariat meeting also included remote video participants from Canberra, Australia and NIH in Maryland.

The new link is also being shown at PTC 2005, the 27th annual PTC conference which is the longest-running annual telecommunications meeting for the Pacific hemisphere. PTC attracted over 900 delegates from more than 40 countries as well as several thousand additional " networkers" who do business alongside the PTC meeting. Advanced applications of broadband are being highlighted in a series of
demonstrations in the Broadband Playground and Exhibit Hall. 

The Communications Research Centre (CRC) of Industry Canada, which coordinated the entire Broadband Playground at PTC 2005, has arranged a number of innovative demonstrations of broadband technology in E-Learning using Canada's advanced CA*net 4 network which interconnects with SX TransPORT via Pacific Wave in Seattle. These demonstrations include a real-time demonstration of remote piano control, high-quality real-time audio and video for coaching music students, multiparty
collaborative virtual reality, and a sharing of indigenous culture and educational performance events.

The ResearchChannel, based at the University of Washington, is showing interactive High Definition Television (HDTV) over the Internet at speeds of 270Mbps per stream. One of the HDTV programs being shown is PBS Hawaii's "First Light" documentary about Mauna Kea, which has been digitized for playback in Honolulu from a server in Seattle.

Videoconferencing with AARNet in Canberra is being shown using uncompressed and inexpensive but high-quality consumer-grade DV-Cam technology and desktop PCs. 

Another HDTV-over-IP technology is being shown by the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), which operates the Japan's JGN2 advanced network. In addition to transmitting HDTV among Alaska, Honolulu and Osaka, NICT also brought their popular wireless Internet-based car racing technology that permits drivers in Alaska, Japan and Hawaii to compete against each other in real-time using a physical race-track at PTC in Honolulu. 

Internet2 is showing the new "DVGuide," which shows the digital video programming available on global research and education networks from around the world. 

In addition to the 10Gbps trans-pacific fiber optic lightwave provided for SX TransPORT by SCCN to AARNet, a number of other components have been required to realize this level of advanced broadband technology. The Lariat project provided support for the high-speed connection from the SCCN landing in Oregon to the Pacific Wave optical
exchange point in Seattle. 

A new NSF award for international networking to the University of Southern California will assist in extending SX TransPORT from Australia to the Big Island and on to California using a second 10Gbps SX TransPORT lightwave on the southern route of SCCN.

Pacific LightNet Incorporated (PLNI) provided the University of Hawaii with the 10Gbps lightwaves on Oahu to connect between the SCCN landing point at Kahe Point and the UH-Manoa campus. Pacific Wireless Corporation and fSONA provided the free space optics link to connect between UH Manoa and the Hilton Hawaiian Village for the PTC
demonstrations.

The SX TransPORT network is currently in "pre-production" for these and other demonstrations. Work is planned on the production configuration to support education and research after the conclusion of PTC.

See the following links for additional information:

University of Hawaii - http://www.hawaii.edu
SX TransPORT - www.aarnet.edu.au/news/sxtransport.pdf
AARNet - http://www.aarnet.edu.au/
Southern Cross Cable Network - http://www.southerncrosscables.com/
Lariat - http://lariat-west.org/
PTC 2005 - http://www.ptc.org/ptc05
Pacific Wave - http://www.pacificwave.net/
NCMIR - http://ncmir.ucsd.edu/
CRC - http://www.crc.ca/en/html/crc/home/home
CA*net 4 -http://www.canarie.ca/canet4/
ResearchChannel - http://www.researchchannel.org
NICT - http://www.nict.go.jp/overview/index.html
JGN2 -http://www.jgn.nict.go.jp/e/02-about/02-1/
Internet2 - http://www.internet2.edu
PLNI - http://www.plni.net/
PWC - http://www.pwchi.com/
fSONA - http://www.pwchi.com/

Working photos available at:
http://laphroaig.uhnet.net/~whinery/PTC2005/PTC2005-001/