The National Science Foundation (NSF) today awarded $3.9 million over four years to the University of Washington (UW), the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and partner institutions to build the Laboratory for the Ocean Observatory Knowledge Integration Grid (LOOKING). It is the largest of nearly 120 awards from the agency's Information Technology Research (ITR) program this year, which total $130 million to be disbursed over the next five years.
Participating institutions will collaborate on experimental wireless, optical networks and grid technology, including development of web services, networking protocols, devices and sensors. The prototype grid will eventually link communities of oceanographers via high-speed wireless and optical networks to observatories in the Northeast Pacific and offshore Southern California. "A number of projects are already underway to deploy ocean observatories and sensors in the Pacific Ocean to permit in situ ocean research," said John Delaney, principal investigator and a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington. "This grant will allow us to make that research interactive by providing an essential architecture for the software, hardware and network services that will enable routine ocean access to researchers, educators, students and the general public."