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High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network

The High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) is a National Science Foundation funded network research project, which also functions as a collaborative interdisciplinary and multi-institutional cyberinfrastructure for research, education, and first responder activities. The program includes the creation, demonstration, and evaluation of a non-commercial, prototype, high-performance, wide-area, wireless network in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties.

The network encompasses backbone nodes located at the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University campuses as well as a number of hard-to-reach areas in remote environments.

The HPWREN backbone itself operates primarily in FCC-licensed radio spectrum, with project researchers using off-the-shelf technology to create a redundant topology. Access links often utilize licensed or license-exempt radios.

The network spans from the southern California coast to the inland valleys, on to the high mountains (reaching more than 8700 feet), and out to the remote desert. The network's longest link is 72 miles in distance, reaching from the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD to San Clemente Island.

"For the past almost eight years, the project team has been working on developing solutions for the technological needs of hard-to-reach communities ranging from educators at rural Native American reservations to astronomers at remote observatories and field scientists at ecological reserves," explains Hans-Werner Braun, HPWREN principal investigator. "The HPWREN program also collaborates with rural firefighters, providing them with opportunities to experiment and utilize new technologies available for remote data transmission in areas that are often difficult to reach.

Video courtesy of HPWREN
Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

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