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2 June 2000 Transcontinental local area network
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The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has facilities at 17 different locations scattered throughout the USA. These vary in size from the major laboratories occupied by research and support staff to the ten individual antennas of the Very Long Baseline Array. As is typical in astronomy, many sites are in remote locations, which are not well served with modern communication capabilities. Until 1996, the NRAO's internal network was achieved via the Internet; most sites simply had a local port to the Internet and the traffic was routed tortuously to the other locations. The burgeoning demand for Internet bandwidth was (and still is) growing faster than the services could be enhanced, and this led to intolerably slow response times and unacceptably low achieved data rates. To solve this problem, the NRAO acquired a frame relay intranet from AT&T to connect ten of its locations. The operating cost is approximately the same as the multiple Internet connections, but with vastly improved throughput and reliability. Recently, the access to the four major sites has been upgraded to support video conferencing.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gareth Hunt "Transcontinental local area network", Proc. SPIE 4011, Advanced Global Communications Technologies for Astronomy, (2 June 2000);


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