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Section 3C

1- Design Concept
The SonNET is a wide area wireless network connecting Sonoma State university
campus with four surrounding hard-to-reach remote research sites, namely Osborn, Galbreath
Wildlands, Laguna, and Pepperwood Preserves. These sites are located within 60 miles of
campus. SSU will be administering Osborn and Galbreath Wildlands sites and the other two sites
will be administered by non-profit partner organizations with research and educational missions.

For description of sites refer to Section ???

The proposed SonNET architecture combines combine low-power IP-based data

acquisition and telemetry systems (e.g., environmental sensors), solar panel technology, and
wireless Internet capability together in order to achieve a state-of-the-art intelligent network with
advanced features such as data visualization. The network architecture of SonNET is based on
layered hierarchical topology providing efficient scalability with low incremental costs as new
sites and field stations are added in the future. The two main layers of SonNET are the backbone
broadband infrastructure layer and within-site network layer including a backbone node, and
multiple communication and remote sensor nodes.
The high-speed backbone is based on an existing infrastructure managed by Vista
Broadband. Through additional microwave radios the SonNET project enhances the existing
network infrastructure and provides access to geographically dispersed four research sites. Hence,
each site will be connected to Vista Broadband infrastructure using backbone node pairs. Within
each site, the backbone node is linked to multiple within-site communication nodes, each of
which is wirelessly connected to various sensor nodes. For example a complete set of
environmental sensors (weather station, camera, microphone, air chemistry sensors, water
temperature and depth, and low-light sensor) can be linked to one or more communication nodes
serving as integrated monitoring stations for measuring human-related environmental changes.
Figure 1 shows the SonNET architecture and interconnection between its nodes.
The network connects real-time sensors and cameras, meteorological stations, and alert
systems located on mountaintop towers in the area to the Data Center accessed by the
Visualization Center, making the datasets accessible to various researchers, scientists, educators,
public safety groups and organizations, and many more. In addition, SonNET connectivity can
provide communications (including, data and Voice over Internet Protocol) between command
posts and first responders in the event of emergency in each research site.

2- Development Strategy
In this subsection we describe the general equipments and development strategies for
establishing the SonNET infrastructure ass shown in Figure 1. Details of each equipment and its
model number and manufacturer are provided in Section 6.
The backbone infrastructure of SonNET is provided by Vista Broadband, the lead business
provider of wireless internet service in Sonoma and Marin counties. Their existing network takes
advantage of optical fiber (10 Gbps) extending as far north as Cloverdale, and an existing
network of over 20 microwave towers (up to 600 Mbps). Additional backbone node pairs with
line-of-site are required to extend the current coverage of Vista Broadband to all four research
sites, as shown in Figure 1. Given the rugged terrain of Galbreath site, additional relay will be
needed in order to ensure reliable connectivity with the high-speed backbone network.
Each backbone node pair includes two microwave radios operating at the 2.4 GHz
licensed frequency spectrum, antenna towers, a high-speed router and a switch with spam port.
The primary challenge in utilizing microwave system operating at these frequency bands is that
they require clear line-of-sight paths to function properly. Thus, backbone nodes must be placed
on high elevations, allowing higher vantage points for direct point-to-point links.
Vista Broadband will install and manage communication links between its broadband
backbone and each individual site. All backbone nodes within Vista Broadband network will be
connected via the existing fiber infrastructure according to the company’s project plan. As a final
note, we must emphasize that due to current budget limitations, no redundancy has been
considered to protect the network from link or node failures.
The data from sensors nodes in all four research sites will be integrated into the existing
Vista Broadband traffic and routed to the SSU site. The Technology Manager will work with
Vista Broadband staff to install routers and power equipment needed to track volume and energy
use of the specific SonNET data streams.
All within-site communication nodes operate at unlicensed 902-928 MHZ and 2.4-2.5
GHz spread spectrum bands to interface with the backbone node on the site. On the research site
the communication node is also interfaced with multiple sensors located at various mountain
peaks where the supporting structures can be easily installed and excellent aerial coverage can be
obtained. Such interfaces are provided using 802.11b IEEE standard for wireless connectivity
using Lucent Outdoor Router radios. Each communication is planned to have:
• Low communications power, less than 10 watts for RF communications.
• Multiple Mbps Internet access from sites with line-of-sight and within 30 km of a
mountaintop node, using the 2.4 GHz spread spectrum band.
• Up to 115 kbps Internet access from sites with line-of-sight and within 100 km of a
mountaintop node using the 900 MHz spread spectrum band.
• Low cost radios depending on bandwidth and distance requirements.

The Osborn, Galbreath Wildlands sites currently have no access to electricity and power must be
supplied using solar panels. Thus, all nodes in these sites, including backbone nodes, are required
to be powered by way of solar panels, also providing the power for each microwave antenna to
operate. Each solar-powered 802.11b-based filed station consists of four 80-watt solar panels;
four independent 94-AH gel cell batteries; a charge controller; and a DC-DC converter. Each
system is capable of generating a peak solar power of 320 watts, which is able to continuously
power a device consuming around 32 watts; this generously suffices for filed stations. Similar
requirements are required to power up the backbone nodes but at larger scales, since the backbone
node power requirements are much higher. Details pertaining number of batteries and solar panels
are provided in the Budget Section.
All other backbone nodes and communication nodes in Laguna and Pepperwood research
sites are powered by way of power grid. However, due to hard-to-reach locations of sensor nodes
we expect using solar powered sensors in these sites. The cost of solar powers for these sensors is
embedded in the sensor node’s cost and described in details in the Budget Section.
The power sizing design for each site is performed to ensure all nodes can operate up to
three days on solar-charged batteries alone, and will continue to operate–even through variable
weather conditions.
The incoming data from all remote communication nodes, connected to sensors, cameras,
acoustics, as well as observatories, are directed to the SSU Data Center. In order to reduce cost
and increase energy-efficiency, in terms of power consumption, cooling infrastructure, and
spacing, we consider a centralized data center which will be housed at Sonoma State University's
Data Center. The center is located in the campus' Information Technology Department, located in
the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center building.
The University Data Center provides approximately two thousand square feet of raised-
floor space. This raised-floor provides the plenum to deliver cool air to equipment. A backup
diesel generator and UPS system provide approximately 125KVA of power to the space. Access
into the space is controlled by dual-validation (PIN and magnetic card swipe) door locks and is
monitored by a network-based camera system.
The additional equipments required for the SonNET Data Center are divided into four main
categories: (1) storage equipment, (2) computer equipment, (3) administrative equipment, and (4)
miscellaneous infrastructure (racks, cables, switches, etc.) Details are provided in Section 6.
Equipment located in the SonNET Data Center is rack-mounted in individually locked
cabinets. Only equipment that does not support rack mounting is allowed to be free-standing on
the Data Center floor. This type of equipment includes items such as large tape libraries and disk
The University Data Center is the hub of the campus network infrastructure, which
includes fiber optic cabling to various campus buildings. This fiber capacity allows high speed
networking between equipment located in the Data Center and campus users, as well as access to
Sonoma State's Internet connection operating at one gigabit per second.
The high-speed SonNET is capable of sampling large amount of environmental datasets
in space and time. Furthermore, environmental datasets provided by the SonNET are
geographically distributed across the network on heterogeneous computing platforms. The ability
to understand these large, complex, distributed data sets depends upon the development of new
methodologies for integrating the datasets with visualization and analysis technologies. SonNET
Visualization Laboratory integrates workstations, servers, networks, and software to deliver
two/three dimensional visualization. The main equipments required for the SonNET Visual
Laboratory are the following items:
• Desk-top computers for visualization: We require two standard desk-top computers. The
desk-tops will be used to for providing user control for the display and will run as the front-
end for interacting with the servers at the data center to create the visualization. This is a
minimal computational resource needed in the visualization room.
• Screen for display: Three horizontally aligned wall-mounted screens each of size roughly
100” by 70” will be used as the screen to project the data. A display of this size is appropriate
for a visualization room that is x’ by y’. (should find the numbers.)
• Projectors: Two projectors at the high-end for a home theater will be acquired.
The Visualization Center will be housed at Human Computer Interaction Laboratory located
at the Cerent Engineering Science Complex and its activities will be coordinated by faculty in the
Department of Computer Science. The Cerent Engineering Science Complex consists of eight
other laboratories in the areas of communications, networking, photonics, microanalysis,
electronics, computer-controlled instrumentation, and software engineering.
Human Computer Interaction Laboratory is equipped with computer controlled
instrumentation equipment and software. Currently, it supports National Instrument's Labview as
well as HP's VEE software. This laboratory has been dedicated to conduct and develop user-
friendly hardware and software interfaces and/or systems which allow a user to perform tests and
measurements in their laboratories remotely. Other areas of study which will be conducted in this
laboratory are user-friendly graphic design and distributed computing.

RAVI – explain how it looks like ???

The SonNET architecture will be designed to allow individual researchers involved in variety
of disciplinary researches, e.g., biology, astronomy, earth, ocean, and environmental sciences, to
connect their specialized sensors and utilize SonNET to transmit various tracking data on a near-
real time basis to the Data Center where the data can be accessed by a global scientific
community. The sensors have been specifically designed for remote installations (i.e., low power
consumption or solar powered) in rugged environments. Water flow sensors will constitute the
most widely distributed of the SonNET sensors. Hydrological studies require that sensors are
dispersed throughout subbasins of the watershed to gain an understanding of the spatial
distribution of drainage processes.
Researchers involved in SonNET project will be utilizing such sensors around the ponds at
each of the four research sites. Pond environments have a number of advantages for long-term
photographic monitoring. Aquatic environments are productive and changing, showing changes
in water levels, aquatic animal behavior, vertebrate drinking visits, and vegetative growth. The
environmental sensors will be collocated, on or immediately adjacent to, a tripod located at the
edge of one pond at each of the sites. Ponds will be chosen based upon ease of connecting to the
high-speed backbone and specific environmental requirements of each sensor type (e.g.,
The SonNET Technology Manager will work with each senior personnel with expertise in use
of the equipment. Senior personnel will provide oversight on measurement accuracy, sampling
frequency and timing (especially for bandwidth hogs such as cameras and microphones),
equipment calibration, and data use and analysis. Companies supplying the equipment will be
contacted as needed for any specific technical support needed for trouble-shooting equipment
operation. The main sensors utilized by senior personnel as listed below (refer to the Budget
Section for details):
• Ozone and NOx sensors (2B Technologies): designed to enable accurate and measurements of
ozone ranging from a few ppb to 100,000 ppb (0-100 ppm).
• Autonomous Field Recorder (Song Meter): a programmable, digital audio recorder
specifically designed to monitor wildlife populations, such as birds and frogs, in harsh
outdoor environments over extended periods of time.
• Water Level, Flow and Temperature (Levellogger Gold): records water level and temperature
and includes data logger that can used for both stream gauging and lake level monitoring.
• Lux Meter (Climatic Laboratory Industrial Measurements): a digital instrument for measuring
lighting levels including those taken outside for scientific purposes.
• IP Network Camera with wide lens (IQEye IQ753 Day/Night 3 Megapixel): an industrial
grade, color, high-speed day/night, 3.1 megapixel network camera with on-camera
recording/playback capabilities.
• Automated Weather Station (Campbell Scientific): a PC-based programmable datalogger
which records sensor inputs (wind speed and direction, solar radiation, temperature (air,
water, soil), relative humidity, precipitation, barometric pressure, and soil moisture) then
processes, stores, and transmits the data.

3. Expected capability upon completion

Distinctive features of SonNET that will enable researchers to exploit the full power of
cyberinfrastructure in the creation and dissemination of data, information and knowledge, with
high emphasis on education, including extending student research programs, eLearning,
disseminating real-time and near real-time data, audio, and video to anyone interested in remotely
participating at research activities supported by SonNET.
The SonNET infrastructure can also enable high-speed broadband Internet for the rural
and remote communities in the surrounding areas and hence, offering new services, including
distance learning and eHealth to members of these communities. In addition, through new
collaborations between SonNET and the public safety communities (e.g., Police, and Fire, and
Life Safety Departments) we will explore ways in which incident applications can be added to the
research portion of the network.
Upon completion of the SonNET project, we expect the following capacities to be
available to various local and remote communities:
High-speed end-to-end environmental network: The SonNET project is a very unique
project in that it provides independent research access to remote research sites. Thus, it enhances
isolated environmentally rich sites into a synergist network of monitoring locations that offers
research opportunities in various disciplines, as well as education and public safety.
Environmental monitoring opportunities: The flexible SonNET platform allows
evaluation of new approaches for environmental monitoring that augments standard automated
weather station with air, water, sound and light sensors. Furthermore, the SonNET infrastructure
allows new network protocols, data aggregation techniques, as well as sensor hardware designs
and ad hoc sensor network protocols to be developed and tested. The aim of such studies will be
maximizing data streaming capability of the network from diverse number of sensors across
remote locations and optimizing energy efficiency of individual sensors and overall network.
These tasks will be undertaken by the Technology Manager and System Administrator working in
collaboration with the Cross-Disciplinary Team.
Integration with the existing Vista Broadband infrastructure: Partnership with Vista
Broadband and enhancing their network can effectively result in potential employment and co-op
opportunities for our students at Vista Broadband. Furthermore, through such collaboration, we
can expect unique opportunities for our students to get involved in real-work projects and more
hands-on experience.
Open systems and integration with on-going efforts: The SonNET will use existing data
and metadata catalogues and shared-ware facilities and other established methods to integrate
with national cyberinfrastructure communities. Central to this effort will be availability of high-
qualified personnel with expertise in algorithm development, systems operations, and
applications development.
We note that currently no other funding resources are available to support a large-scale
environmental monitoring and testing in the northern California. Having access to the
environmental sensors in the isolated research sites would provide a realistic dimension to many
research activities conducted at Sonoma State University. MORE ??????


SSU Campus Research

Site (Field Station)

Backbone Node (Radio & XCVR)

Sensor Node
OSBORN Vista Communication Node
Wireless High-Speed Link (200 Mbps)
Within-Site Broadband Cloverdale
Wireless Within-Site Link (5 Mbps)
Network Infrastructure 100% Solar Powered Site
(wireless + fiber) Existing Fiber Fiber Link (1 Gbps)


Figure 1. The SonNET architecture.