ECU part of effort to develop global, high-speed research network

Creating a research data superhighway across the Atlantic Ocean is the focus of a collaborative project that includes ECU.

Researchers at ECU and George Mason University have received a $463,256 grant from the National Science Foundation under the International Research and Education Network Connections program for BRIDGES or Binding Research Infrastructures for the Deployment of Global Experimental Science.

Ciprian Popoviciu, assistant professor in the Department of Technology Systems at ECU, said the goal is to deploy next-generation research infrastructure. The 8,000-mile optical network ring that includes Washington, D.C., New York, Amsterdam and Paris will be capable of delivering science data at a rate of 200 billion bits per second. By comparison, a typical high-definition video requires about 8 million bits per second.

Popoviciu said today’s large-scale scientific experiments require faster speeds to transmit data. “There is a big push to build high-bandwidth infrastructures because the current ones cannot cope,” he said.

He said BRIDGES would demonstrate a new vision for research and education cyberinfrastructures that will enable multiple research groups to collaborate across the ocean at the same time. These capabilities will be implemented through Global Virtualization Services software, an open-source project the BRIDGES team will add functionality and optimizations to.

ECU’s role in the three-year project centers on designing the infrastructure and developing functionality features for the GVS software. Popoviciu was involved with the development of the GVS software and monitored its evolution as an expert for the European Commission that funded its creation.

ECU will also develop operational procedures and tools for managing the highly virtualized, highly configurable cyber infrastructure and will lay the foundation for the network operation center of the service.