Professors awarded space-Internet grant

Lawrence,KS (09-06-2000)

From University Daily Kansan

Two University of Kansas faculty members are working to make outer space the next frontier for the Internet with the help of a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Gary Minden and Joe Evans, professors of electrical engineering and computer science, were awarded the two-year $362,000 grant to research, design and test a prototype for a space-based Internet system.

The system would improve communication between orbiting satellites and between satellites and Earth, said Judith Galas, the public relations and marketing coordinator of the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center. The center is a place of support for faculty research.

She said that an Internet-based system was more elastic than the satellite computer system and could reroute information if part of the network malfunctioned.

Galas said the benefits of easier and faster communication between Earth and orbiting satellites would be widespread. For instance, an agricultural agency in Kansas could request aerial images of farmers' fields from the NASA Web page, which would be transmitted from a satellite via the space-based Internet system.

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