Presentation and Discussion of Science Requirements

Dr. Dennis Peacock, Head of the NSF/OPP Antarctic Science Section, led a presentation and discussion of science communication requirements at South Pole Station for both the immediate future and over the next five years. NSF forecasts, based on active and approved future projects, indicate that science communication requirements should peak for FY2000 and then stabilize at a flat level for the period of FY2001-2003 + (Table 4).

Table 4: NSF Forecasts of Science Communication Requirements at South Pole Station FY1999-2003
Fiscal Year Required Bandwidth Forecast (MBytes/day)
1999 5387-5887
2000 15083-15487
2001 3233-5637
2002 3214-5618
2003+ 2214-4618

Good communications at South Pole are required by scientists for:

  1. Timely return of data for review.
  2. Remote development of experiments.
  3. Remote operation of experiments.
  4. Access to Internet and web-based, on-line resources.
  5. Teleconferencing.
  6. Faxes.
  7. Interaction with winter over personnel.
  8. Logistics tracking.
  9. Community use.
  10. SPSM requires to become a premier research facility.
  11. Important events such as observation of the comet Shoemaker-Levy slamming into Jupiter and seismic events, require good bandwidth.

The Communication Working Group of the South Pole Users Committee had two recommendations for communications in 1997 and 1998. First, availability of communications (e.g. multiple satellites, total communication time, times spread throughout the day, etc.) and bandwidth (e.g. sufficient for data, voice, and video) are of primary importance to South Pole scientists. Second, performance of the communications (e.g. how is communications implemented) is of secondary importance.

Two priority requirements for communications were summarized by participating scientists:

  1. Continuous connectivity with low bandwidth for telephone (duplex) and fax calls, transmission of reduced data via e-mail, and "shift standing" communications at home institutions.
  2. Windows of high bandwidth for transmission of large batch files of data, images, and backups of computer systems.

In contrast to the forecast presented in Table 4 (current active and known approved future projects), the projected data communications requirements forecast by evaluating proposal ideas from the community in the concept or review stage indicate a growth in demand in the years after 2005. Current and projected science requirements forecast by participating scientists were gathered (Table 5). The current bandwidth requirement is estimated at 14.63 GBytes/day and by 2005 is forecasted to be 558.6 GBytes/day as a result of this exercise. The near term forecast does not match the projection presented in Table 4 because Table 5 reflects the potential "pent-up demand" that exists that cannot be actualized due to the present limited resources.

Table 5 : South Pole Scientist Communication Requirements

Note: Not a comprehensive list of requirements. Figures are approximate estimates of workshop participants and selected scientists not participating, which reflect the majority of current South Pole Station science projects.

Project Current Bandwidth Required Forecasted Bandwidth Required

IRIS Seismic Station

25 MB/d 48 MB/d (high resolution; real-time continuous transmission)

Deep Ice STC 25 Station Seismic Array (proposed)

  500 MB/d

AMANDA II Neutrino Detector

6-8 GB/d (1999-2000)  

ICECUBE 1 km3 Neutrino Detector (proposed)

  200-500 GB/d (2005-2007)

CARA

30-40 MB/d (Continuous) 1-2 GB/d (up to 1 Day Delay) 30-40 MB/d (Continuous) 1-2 GB/d (up to 1 Day Delay)

NOAA

100 MB/wk (14.3 MB/d) 100 MB/wk (14.3 MB/d)

AST/RO

  2 KB/s (10 meter Telescope) (173 MB/d)

CARA IR Telescope - SPIREX

3 GB/d  

CARA IR Telescope - 2.5 meter (proposed)

  3 GB/d

CARA CMBR Telescope - VIPER

200 MB/d (1998-1999) and telephone calls every 3 days 2 GB/d (2000-2001) when new receiver installed

CUSP (cooperating space physics projects)

15-20 MB/d Space Weather Forecasting, Modeling, and Data Archiving 20-50 MB/d (By 2005)

PAPEN LIDAR

200 kB/d 200 kB/d

HERNANDEZ

420 kB/d 420 kB/d

SWENSON

1 MB/d 1 MB/d

Educational Outreach

10% of Total Bandwidth (1.33 GB/d) Same (50.8 GB/d)
TOTAL 14.63 GB/d 558.6 GB/d

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