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Network Facilitates Scientific Info Sharing

China, the United States and Russia kicked off a global network for scientific research Monday, which may be a launching pad for a next generation Internet in China.

The new network is the first of its kind in the northern hemisphere. It connects major scientific centers such as Chicago, Moscow and Beijing.

Experts with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Chinese sponsor of the trilateral project, said the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development (Gloriad) is expected to be an important research platform for the next generation Internet.

Qian Hualin, chief co-coordinator of Gloriad, said the new links enable research institutes in the three countries to communicate with each other and share scientific data, which might stimulate new advancements in basic research.

Gloriad is proposed as a 10-gigabit-per-second optical network around the northern hemisphere.

The ring begins in Chicago at the Starlight facility, funded by the US National Science Foundation, crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the Netherlight facility in Amsterdam, continues to Moscow and the Russian science city of Novosibirsk, goes on to Beijing and Hong Kong, and then crosses the Pacific Ocean to complete the circuit in Chicago.

"It could be used for transmitting scientific data at high speed, which might not be imagined on commercial networks," said Qian.

Qian estimated basic research in many areas would benefit from Gloriad, such as natural disaster forecast, human genome mapping, outer space exploration, earthquake monitoring and high-energy physics.

"Chinese scientists are eager to exchange academic views and share scientific data with their overseas counterparts," said Qian, citing that Gloriad makes closer cooperation and concerted research much easier.

(China Daily January 13, 2004)


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