Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure
: Executive summary of NSF Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel report. "The Panel's overarching finding is that a new age has dawned in scientific and engineering research, pushed by continuing progress in computing, information, and communication technology, and pulled by the expanding complexity, scope, and scale of today's challenges. The capacity of this technology has crossed thresholds that now make possible a comprehensive “cyberinfrastructure” on which to build new types of scientific and engineering knowledge environments and organizations and to pursue research in new ways and with increased efficacy." 2:58:06 PM
Redwoods go high tech, and High-tech trees take their own temperature: Berkeley researchers use new wireless motes in forest research: "For years, Dawson's research on the moisture that giant redwoods absorb from fog has involved the installation of 30 pounds of gear - including data loggers, sensors and wires - onto trees that stand 300 feet tall in the redwood groves of Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties. Each [new] wireless sensor, or micromote, measures less than three cubic inches and is capable of transmitting radio signals at 50 kilobytes per second. .. "These devices need to run for months on a size C battery, streaming a variety of environmental data out of the trees for data processing," said Culler. ..
The old, industrial-age sensors cost $3,000, while the Mica sensors -- made by Crossbow Technologies of Santa Clara using UC Berkeley technology -- cost about $250 each. The motes accurately chart temperatures and humidity and show the profound differences between tree tops and branches near the bottom.. Other sensors to be added include one equipped with a tiny probe to measure the interior temperature of the tree and the velocity and quantity of water flowing inside the tree.. "
The redwood grove used in the test are at the UC Botanical Garden in Strawberry Canyon. The researchers plan to expand the wireless network later this year to include redwood groves in Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County and at a site in Sonoma County.
Project Leader is "David Culler, a UC Berkeley professor of computer science, and his researchers, along with a team led by UC Berkeley computer scientist Kris Pister, who calls the technology "smart dust." While Pister's team worked to make the motes smaller and smaller, Culler wrote an operating system for the tiny computers onboard. He called it "tinyOS." .. Other researchers on the project include Robert Szewczyk and Joe Polastre, UC Berkeley graduate students in electrical engineering and computer sciences, and Wei Hong and David Gay, researchers at the Intel Research Berkeley laboratory. "
Companies: In addition to Crossbow Technologies, "one San Jose company, Digital Sun, is marketing a sensor system designed for gardeners that monitors temperature and soil moisture and waters the plants when they need it. A Massachusetts company, Sensicast Systems, is also marketing tinyOS sensor systems. Bosch and Honeywell are also looking into wireless sensor nets. Wineries are very interested in the possibility of precisely monitoring areas or plants within vineyards, and several are working with Intel on a project. " 2:49:21 PM
World Officials Agree to Share Ecology Data
: "Officials from more than 30 countries agreed today to expand monitoring of the atmosphere, the oceans and the land and to create a system for sharing the resulting data. At a meeting here organized by the Bush administration, the officials said the goal of the 10-year effort was to fill in big gaps, primarily in developing countries, in the network of instruments recording earth's vital signs. The resulting benefits, like better crop and weather forecasts, are to be shared by rich and poor countries alike. .. At the meeting here, administration officials said Mr. Bush had committed $25 million as a matching contribution to help developing countries link up to the global network for tracking what Donald L. Evans, the commerce secretary, called "the heartbeat of Mother Earth."" 9:34:34 PM