Penn State connects to national research network

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA, June 29, 2006 — Researchers and scientists at Penn State now have the ability to use virtually unlimited bandwidth to expand methods of data acquisition and collaboration.

The National LambdaRail (NLR) network, now operational at the University, is a national consortium that provides users unprecedented control over its next-generation network infrastructure, offering up to 40 individual fiber “light paths” — each of which can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second. The rapidly expanding NLR infrastructure is the result of over three years of work and nearly $100 million in funding by its member institutions and businesses.

“As universities across the country invest in powerful new instruments to measure natural phenomena, the amounts of data collected are skyrocketing,” said Kevin Morooney, senior director of ITS Academic Services and Emerging Technologies. “NLR will enable scientists to develop new strategies for analyzing this data, and research communities will be able to develop new ways to operate remote instruments and data collection facilities, opening the door to fundamentally new ways of conducting science.”

According to Morooney, Penn State’s connection to NLR already has begun accommodating University research traffic, but the physical implementation is only the first step. The next phase will involve faculty exploring how the infrastructure can facilitate their investigations in fields such as chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, meteorology, visualization, engineering, mapping, 3D imaging, simulations and more. “Scientists across the country are increasingly employing NLR for their research needs,” he said.

“The various types of services made available through NLR will provide flexibility in meeting different forms of national connectivity than can be currently supported,” said Steve Updegrove, senior director of ITS Telecommunications and Networking Services. “Penn State is making NLR happen to serve the needs of its research community — an essential component in maintaining the University’s nationally recognized research agenda.”

To learn more about Penn State’s new NLR connection visit the University’s National LambdaRail information page at online.