Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University’s Research on the Hill Network (RotH Net) is a dedicated and frictionless network fabric to serve as a Science DMZ for multidisciplinary research programs. The RotH Net provides a secure digital workspace where researchers can compute, store, and share research data on a 10G connection to Internet2. This network fabric facilitates transfers of large datasets from projects serving multiple research labs. Data collected from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for scientists and farmers to evaluate crops at scale while simultaneously creating crop maps and large consistent datasets that were previously imaginable. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index images will prescribe fertilizer applications, estimate yields, and identify weeds. Other facilities dedicated to data-intensive science are enabled by the project, including research into Ion Accelerator Technology and Ion beam modification of materials.
The RotH Net includes a full set of science DMZ components serving to re-architect the campus border to support high performance science data flows across campus and external to the campus network. One additional component is the Open Storage Network (OSN) pod, a set of deployable units of distributed storage with minimal administrative overhead and petabyte-sized storage capable of high-throughput, and high-speed large volume data transfers. The OSN provides a cyberinfrastructure (CI) service to address specific data storage, transfer, sharing, and access, challenges. The project also supports a fiber extension connecting campus research facilities and paving the way for flexible growth in high performance research and education network connectivity.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.