US, Russia, China Link Up to Form Global Ring Network for Advanced Science & Education Cooperation

December 29, 2003

National Science Foundation, Russian Consortium of Ministries and Science Organizations, Chinese Academy of Sciences Fund New High Speed Science Network in Significant Step Forward for Cooperation Between the Three Countries

ARLINGTON, Va., MOSCOW, Russia, BEIJING, China, December 28, 2003 - The National Science Foundation, a broad consortium of Russian Ministries and science organizations, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, today announced they have selected Tyco Global Networks to develop 155 megabit per second (Mbps) secure data connections between US and Russia and between US and China. Additionally, Russia and China are connecting their science networks – completing a ring around the northern hemisphere for joint scientific and educational projects.

The project, called "Little GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development)" builds on an existing 5-year project funded by the US and Russia called "NaukaNet" ("Science net" in the Russian language). The addition of China to the network and program was completed with an agreement signed on November 12, 2003 among the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Illinois (US lead on the project) and Tyco Telecommunications. The new network uses the global reach of the Tyco Global Network and will have operational service by mid-December, 2003.

"Little GLORIAD" is funded in part from the final year of a 3-year, $2.8 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for US-Russian high performance networking. The new link will provide a new connection for the US science community into science facilities in the Far East of Russia – through the Chinese Academy of Sciences network. Russian support for the link is from a consortium of government Ministries and science organizations coordinated by the Russian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology. Chinese support is from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and through the Computer Network Information Center, which coordinates China-wide networking for the CAS.

As the name suggests, the new project is a first step towards a larger network – the Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development (GLORIAD) – which the three countries are jointly developing for a mid-2004 start; it proposes a 10 Gbps "lightwave" network, based on a hybrid circuit-switched and routed architecture, around the entire northern hemisphere to support S&E cooperation. The network will "begin" at the Starlight-facility in Chicago, with partners from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University; the network will transit the Atlantic ocean to the "NetherLight" facility in Amsterdam from which it will continue on to Moscow, to the Russian science city of Novosibirsk, across Siberia to the Chinese border and then to Beijing, to Hong Kong and across the Pacific ocean, completing the "ring" in Chicago.

The GLORIAD program supports a strong alliance between science and education institutions in the US – led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, the Russian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" in Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Communications, the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy, the Russian Ministry of Education, the Moscow-based Joint Supercomputer Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The new network will continue current levels of service between the U.S. and Russia which have been running the joint NaukaNet S&E network for 5 years but will increase the capacity from the US and China by a factor of three and will introduce an historic first-ever linkage across the Russia-China border. The network will facilitate many new applications – including communications through high quality video-conferencing that has never been possible on such a wide basis between the three S&E communities. The global ring topology of the network will provide both increased reliability and flexibility for new applications.

Among the science issues to be addressed are joint responses to natural and man-made disasters, safeguards of nuclear materials, better understanding of the human genome, joint exploration of space, distributed monitoring of seismic events, astronomical observation, fusion energy sciences, high energy physics collaborations and atmospheric and other environmental studies and simulations. The network will also enable broad education collaborations between universities and local schools – including shared seminars, distance learning programs, multi-national science fairs, etc.

According to the US leaders of the program, Greg Cole and Natasha Bulashova of the NCSA, "Today's announcement represents an important step in the development of the larger GLORIAD network. This new program should further enable our scientists and educators – in three countries which haven't always seen eye-to-eye on issues of critical importance – to better communicate and cooperate with each other. We are grateful to the US NSF and to our Russian partners with whom the foundation for this program has been established during the last 5 years – and to our new Chinese partners whose participation completes "the ring" around the northern hemisphere and who bring such a wealth of talent and resources to this effort. We are also very pleased to welcome Tyco to this partnership – both as our trans-atlantic and trans-pacific service provider but also as an important research partner."

Dr. Yan Baoping, Director of Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CNIC, CAS), said, "Little GLORIAD is a giant step in providing CAS scientists unique opportunities to cooperate with the researchers in the U.S. and Russia, and will contribute significantly to the CAS initiative on knowledge innovation. The ring network is the foundation for the establishment of GLORIAD, which will be an integral part of cyber-network for developing the China E-Science scheduled to commence in 2006."

"The completion of this agreement is the first step towards a global lightwave ring network for science and education cooperation among the U.S., China and Russia" said William Chang, Senior Program Manager of the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering. "This network lays a foundation for global lightwave ring network connecting future lightwave pops in the Far East such as BeijingLight and Hongkonglight to Starlight and will greatly advance those science and education applications between China and the U.S."

"This network partnership of Chinese, Russian and U.S. demonstrates their commitment to cooperate in this novel network architecture. This cooperation bodes well for the future globe-encircling dedicated lightwave of GLORIAD" said Doug Gatchell, Program Director at NSF's Division of Shared Cyberinfrastructure.

The design, architecture and construction of the Tyco Global Network (TGN) leverages the latest advances in fiber optic, DWDM and optical cross-connect technology to offer the highest Quality of Service with seamless global connectivity. A distinct benefit of TGN is seamless global reach and its ability to support the next generation of high-bandwidth applications. GLORIAD is one of the projects looking to promote the advancement of these high bandwidth applications and Tyco Telecommunications is actively involved with the NSF and NCSA on this project and has accordingly provisioned bandwidth on TGN in support this initiative.

"The combined efforts of all of those involved with the GLORIAD project are setting the cornerstone for the development of high bandwidth applications that aim to solve a multitude of complex computation-intense problems in the science and educational communities around the world," states Jim Olson, Director of Capacity Sales - Government Markets at Tyco Telecommunications. "This represents a significant market opportunity for global service providers and TGN is the optimal platform to support the development of these applications. By working closely with organizations like NSF, NCSA and other educational and government science groups around the world we emphasize our long-term commitment to the science community and our ongoing involvement in advancing next generation high bandwidth applications."

GLORIAD represents only one of many programs and activities proposed by NCSA, the Kurchatov Institute and the Chinese Academy of Sciences that will bring together the three scientific and education communities through advanced information infrastructures or grids. A grid links research teams of individuals to each other and a vast array of online resources, including computing systems, advanced applications, scientific instruments, visualization systems and multimedia services.

By connecting Russia and China to the U.S. through the Chicago-based StarLight optical access point (, for connectivity to other research and education networks, the GLORIAD network will provide Chinese and Russian scientists, educators and students direct connectivity to an important common interconnection point for global research and education networks. The connectivity enables both collaboration and the development of new Internet technologies including wavelength switching and other grid networks. These North American research and education networks include those such as Abilene, the National Lambda Rail, CANARIE, NASA’s networks, DOE’s ESnet, and other federal R&D networks. GLORIAD will serve as the networking foundation for Russian grid projects developed jointly by NCSA, the Kurchatov Institute and the Joint Supercomputer Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Nauka-Grid, which connects Russian scientific organizations across the country and links them to online resources.

The project's partners also include SURFnet in the Netherlands with whom GLORIAD will establish an experimental exchange point at NetherLight in Amsterdam into the European science and education community and, in addition to its links to the US and Russia, will enable new high-speed transit capabilities between Europe and Asia across the Russian S&E network. Kees Neggers, Managing Director of SURFnet in the Netherlands: "GLORIAD will be a major addition to the emerging global interconnected mesh of lambdas for research. SURFnet is delighted to be able to contribute to the better integration of the Russian and Chinese scientists in the global science communities."

The project features a close collaboration with the NLANR Measurement and Network Analysis group in San Diego with whom the GLORIAD team will develop a network performance measurement infrastructure to indicate network performance between end-point sites in US, Russia and China. This cooperation builds on collaborations begun three years ago with groups in Russia and China; the NLANR group will participate in and support the Gloriad project, and deploy active measurement devices on networks on the StarLight international access point and on networks in Russia and China.

Harvey Newman, Professor of Physics at Caltech and Chair of the Standing Committee on Inter-regional Connectivity of the International Committee on Future Accelerators, said: "Frontier research in high energy physics, astrophysics, biomedicine and other data-intensive fields relies increasingly on advanced optical networks, and on the successful operation of global scientific collaborations. One of the greatest challenges we face is the Digital Divide that separates scientists in the less economically favored regions of the world, from their peers in more favored regions. GLORIAD is thus a breakthrough that will allow the many talented young minds across Russia and China to address the leading scientific problems of our generation, in concert with their colleagues in the US, Asia, Europe and South America. It will also make it possible for Russia and China to take their place in the world community of scientists and engineers developing leading edge hybrid networks that will shape the way we do science, and many aspects of daily life in the future, in projects such as UltraLight (, Translight, UKlight and Netherlight."

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of about $4.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states, through grants to about 1,800 universities and institutions nationwide. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. For more information, visit

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a leader in developing and deploying cutting-edge high-performance computing, networking and information technologies. NCSA is a partner in the TeraGrid project, a National Science Foundation initiative to build and deploy the world’s largest, fastest, most comprehensive, distributed infrastructure for open scientific research. For more information, visit

The Chinese Academy of Sciences was established in Beijing in November 1949, founded on the former Central Academia of Sciences. It is China’s leading comprehensive research and development institution – organized into five Academic Divisions, 108 scientific research institutes and with a total staff of over 58,000. It conducts research in basic and technological sciences; undertakes nationwide integrated surveys on natural resources and ecological and environment issues; provides the country with scientific data and advice for governmental decision-making, and undertakes government-assigned projects with regard to key S&T problems in the process of social and economic development; conducts personnel training; and promotes China's high-tech enterprises by its active involvement in these areas. For more information, visit

The Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CNIC, CAS) is a subsidiary research institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), engaged mainly in the construction, operation and supporting service of informatization of CAS, R&D of computer network technology, database technology as well as scientific engineering computation. For more information, visit

The lead Russian institution, the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" is a nationwide complex of research facilities based in Moscow. Led by Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, it is under the direct authority of the Russian prime minister as a premier national research facility. The Institute has played a leading role in the development of the Russian Internet and continues to lead development of scientific and academic networking across Russia, supporting specific goals of increased United States and Russian scientific cooperation and the advancement of communications and infrastructure to support it. Dr. Evgeny Velikhov, president of the Institute and a Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Science, is known for his research in plasma physics and controlled thermonuclear fusion. He has served as a top science adviser to all Soviet/Russian presidents since Leonid Brezhnev. Suggesting the likely educational services offered by the GLORIAD network, Dr. Velikhov has also been active for many years in various educational initiatives with Russian and American youth. He introduced Junior Achievement into Russia which has witnessed the education of its two millionth child in the principles and practices of business management and the free market economy. For more information, visit and

With an outstanding faculty, including four Nobel laureates, and such off-campus facilities as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Palomar Observatory, and the W.M.Keck Observatory, the California Institute of Technology is one of the world's major research centers. The Institute also conducts instruction in science and engineering for a student body of approximately 900 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students who maintain a high level of scholarship and intellectual achievement. Caltech's 124-acre campus is situated in Pasadena, California, a city of 135,000 at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, approximately 30 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and 10 miles northeast of the Los Angeles Civic Center. Caltech is an independent, privately supported university, and is not affiliated with either the University of California system or the California State Polytechnic universities.

Tyco Telecommunications, a business unit of Tyco Electronics, is one of the world’s largest providers of advanced global broadband communication solutions. The company sells secure city-to-city capacity services on its global fiber optic network – Tyco Global Network (TGN), which connects key telecom and business markets in Asia, Europe and the USA. Tyco Telecommunications offers a portfolio of global wholesale capacity services to carriers, ISPs, content providers and other broadband service providers. They are also the world’s only fully integrated supplier of transoceanic optical networks. For more information on Tyco Telecommunications, visit

Last Updated: 17 February 2010