“Digital Taiwan, Sustainable Formosa” – Long-Term Ecological Observation Grid in Taiwan.
2005/01/11Promote Challenge 2008 – Six Year National Development Plan to Establish Taiwan as an International Innovator and R&D Base.【March 8th, 2003】The National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) held a press conference to promote the progress of the international cooperation, Taiwan’s Long Term Ecological Observation Grid (Eco-Grid) at the FuShan Ecological Reserve in Ilan county, Taiwan. The NCHC presented the first-stage research and application prototype results. Eco-Grid is a joint effort between the NCHC, the Pacific Rim Application Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA), and several other domestic research institutions.The NCHC is a national-level high-performance computing (HPC) and network application research and development (R&D) institution. It is supervised by Taiwan’s National Science Council (NSC) and specializes in cutting-edge R&D for the domestic research environment. Last year, Taiwan’s government began advocating the basic cyber-infrastructure for the Six-Year National Development Plan (Challenge 2008). Based on its years of experience in high-performance computing and network application, the NCHC proposed the establishment of the Taiwan Advanced Research and Education Network (TWAREN), and the Knowledge Innovation National Grid (KING). Eco-Grid is the first-phase Grid application to take advantage of the TWAREN and KING networks.Eco Grid is PRAGMA’s core international cooperative project. The other members of this project include the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER), San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC), High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN), and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). The FuShan botanical garden was chosen as the best setting in which to conduct ecological research and demonstate the Eco-Grid application. The FuShan reserve was chosen because it is home to more than one third of Taiwan’s fauna and flora ecological familyspecimens. Over the centuries, its truly unique and natural environment has nurtured many rare and native fauna and flora species including the Formosan Water Lily (hydrophilic brandy-bottle), the Mandarin Duck (Yuan Yang), and the vegetarian Barking Deer (Formosan Reeves muntjacs). The FuShan reserve serves as the ideal environment in which to conduct forestry and ecological research and forestry species preservation. In order to effectively record the changes in FuShan’s ecology, NCHC researchers have setup several real-time video monitoring systems that record and archive information that will be analyzed in the future. Currently, the cameras operate via cables but the use of robotics and bi-directional remote control devices are already in development and slated to replace the existing system. Also, the NCHC is developing a wireless broadband backbone with which it hopes to establish a “wireless monitoring sensor network” that will provide a link to the internet, thus, forming a Global Ecological Grid. In so doing, the NCHC will fulfill its responsibility of creating a sustainable global ecology. Wei Yau-huei (魏耀揮), Director General of the NSC's Department of Life Sciences, said that, in line with the government’s Challenge 2008 strategy, the NCHC has taken advantage of its ten years experience in the high-performance computing field to build a solid foundation for Grid’s upward development. He went on to say that, in so doing, the NCHC has played a critical role in the promotion of a Digital Taiwan and the transformation of Taiwan into the R&D base of the Asian Pacific Region. According to Joe Juang (莊哲男), Director of the NCHC, the establishment of TWAREN and KING serve as critical groundwork for the Six-Year National Development Plan and the FuShan Eco-Grid is an outstanding pilot application that fully utilizes the KING Network. The Eco-Grid results showcased today stand as a shining example of Taiwan’s commitment to ecological preservation through the use of its advanced technological resource. Also, today’s demonstration serves an important first-phase result of the Six-Year National Development Plan. In the near future, the NCHC will establish a wireless sensor monitoring net amongst every major Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in Taiwan. In so doing, we will be able to keep close tabs on all of Taiwan’s sustainable natural resources.