LHC selects fibre optic circuit

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National LambdaRail (NLR), the network for advanced research and innovation owned by the US research and education community, has been selected as a provider of ultra high-performance, fibre optic circuits that will enable researchers in the US to participate in the next-generation experiments now getting underway with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator located at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The contract was awarded by CERN and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) which jointly oversee implementation, operation and management of the U.S.- CERN network.

The LHC probes deeper into matter than ever before, permitting scientists to penetrate still further into the structure of matter and recreate the conditions prevailing in the early universe, just after the Big Bang.

To contribute effectively to the LHC physics programme, US researchers need an extremely high-capacity network, capable of moving up to 100 Petabytes of data per year, accessing complex computing and data resources, and enabling real-time collaboration between multiple remote locations. In addition to high-throughput methods and tools, to support the rigorous computational demands of the LHC experiments, the network must operate at 99.9+ per cent availability.

NLR will provide two 10-Gigabit per second circuits between Chicago and New York, enabling LHC data access and exchange by the two US Tier 1 facilities collaborating with CERN, the Fermi National Laboratory near Chicago and Brookhaven National Laboratory near New York City. In addition, numerous smaller, Tier 2 centres, where most of the data analysis will take place, will also be connected. In coordination with Caltech and CERN, the contract roadmap calls for introduction of 40-Gigabit and 100- Gigabit technologies when service and cost requirements are met.