Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Fast Enough for Earthquakes

Some of the information crossing cyberspace today is critical enough to need its own, very speedy, data pathways.
Like the high-occupancy lane on a national highway that allows occupants to reach their destinations more quickly, a planned Science DMZ for Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., will allow high-volume and time-critical engineering and science data to flow unencumbered by other Internet traffic. A Science DMZ is a computer sub-network. It's a play on the term “demilitarized zone,” because it allows huge chunks of data to flow freely to network members.
The university has been awarded $385,000 by the National Science Foundation for the construction of a network optimized just for high-performance scientific applications. It will provide a remarkable boost to structural and civil engineering research at the Imbt Lab on the Mountaintop campus, said Bruce Taggart, principal investigator for the Science DMZ project and vice provost for Library and Technology Services.
“This is a very significant addition to Lehigh University’s research capabilities in one of our top research cores. This places Lehigh in very fine company, within the top 30 research universities in the country with respect to building the networks to support scientific computation and engineering research,” he said.
The Imbt Lab comprises two nationally recognized research facilities that require massive data transfers to support research that includes the simulation of earthquake effects on large-scale structural systems. The Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center, and the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES@Lehigh) Facility will depend on the Science DMZ’s ability to improve campus connectivity to the growing national research cyber infrastructure.
“Graduate students and faculty at Imbt Lab depend upon the university's Library and Technology Services central high-performance computing facilities for their simulation work, and this upgrade will provide much-needed bandwidth boosts (up to 100x) to enhance their productivity,”  said Taggart.
Specific research requirements for the Imbt Lab upgrades include: 
• Real-time video streaming from multiple HD cameras in lab facilities to remote collaborators
• Improvements for lab facilities' access to the university data center facilities, including the corona Linux cluster and central research storage resources
• The ability to construct real-time hybrid experiments in which physical experiments are merged with computational simulations

Story by Manasee Wagh

Posted on Wednesday, October 09, 2013

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