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Research Wave Program

Research Wave Program

The Research Wave Program has been established to stimulate innovative, transformative research by providing dedicated access to Internet2 Network services at a reduced cost for a specific time period.

By allowing researchers to experiment on a short-term basis, the program is expected to stimulate new ideas and innovative approaches that can then grow into funded projects and collaborations.

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The Research Wave Program provides dedicated access to Internet2 Network services at a reduced cost for a limited period of time. Through the program, researchers can run short-term experiments much more nimbly, making it easier to try out new ideas and innovative approaches that can then grow into funded projects and collaborations.

Network research projects can use the program to test their protocols and algorithms on experimental test beds before deploying them on permanent network infrastructures. Discipline scientists can request infrastructure for specific, fixed-time projects and grant proposals, as well as for demonstrations at conferences and workshops. And in a limited number of cases, program resources can be used to support existing, persistent, meritorious research projects that are exploring the frontiers of their fields.

On the recommendation of the Internet2 Research Advisory Council (now Research Advisory Group), the Research Wave Program makes available to the research community four channels out of the 88-channel optical system on every segment of the Internet2 backbone lit by Internet2. Researchers can use these dedicated resources to test different types of infrastructure and services, providing concrete information on what services fit best with their specific applications.

A full description of the program components, associated project costs, the process for requesting waves, and the program's relationship to other Internet2 services can be found in the original RAC proposal (PDF). A summary of the project components follows, along with the process for submitting a proposal to the program.

Program Components

The Research Wave Program will make point-to point Ethernet waves or dark channels available on a segment-by-segment basis along the entire Internet2 Network backbone. The latest backbone topology map (PDF) can be used as a guide for selecting segments of interest.

Point-to-point Ethernet Waves

Two types of point-to-point Ethernet waves are available:

No-Capital Backbone Research Wave

  • One 10 GE wave between two optical nodes on the Internet2 Network backbone where there is no capital cost for the wave.
  • Waves are available for up to one year for qualified research projects.
  • No-capital waves are not renewable. The expectation is that they will either be returned to Internet2 at the project's approved endpoint, or transitioned into a capital-only or production wave.
  • The total availability of no-capital waves to the community is one 10 GE wave per segment along the entire Internet2 Network backbone.

Capital-Only Backbone Research Waves

  • 10, 40, or 100 GE waves between any two optical nodes on the Internet2 Network backbone.
  • Internet2 will provide the equipment (transponders) to light the appropriate bandwidth wave on the segment or segments with the research project paying any applicable capital costs.
  • The exact capital costs depend on the number of backbone segments, the bandwidth per segment, and the performance period requested by the project.
  • The per-segment per-year basis for each wave type is:
    • 10 GE $10,000
    • 40 GE $41,000
    • 100 GE $119,000

Dark Channels

For researchers wishing to deploy their own equipment, an optical channel is available between any two optical nodes on the Internet2 Network backbone.

The researcher is responsible for providing the equipment to light either native (Ciena) waves or alien (non-Ciena) along with collaborating with Internet2 on the installation and support of these waves. Specific requirements include:

  • Ensure the deployed equipment meets the production standards of the Internet2 Network backbone.
  • Provide colocation space for the placement of the equipment or request for it separately as indicated below in the “other resources section.”
  • Confirm that Internet2 is not responsible for supporting the researcher-provided equipment.
  • Develop a deployment and support plan with Internet2 that outlines the responsibilities for operation, maintenance, diagnostics, and support of the researcher-provided equipment.
  • Confirm that the project, not Internet2 will cover any out of pocket expenses associated with deploying the equipment.

Costs to Researchers

The research project will be required to cover any capital and additional out of pocket expenses incurred as part of the project, including any regional or campus costs associated with connecting to the backbone wave(s). Costs will vary depending on the type of Research Wave deployed, but may include:

  • Cross connect fees
  • Incremental colocation space and power
  • Incremental installation costs
  • Regional infrastructure
  • Local infrastructure
  • End host or terminating equipment

Internet2's Research Support Group will work with prospective projects to identify associated costs.

Process for Requesting Resources

The researcher must submit a proposal to Internet2 detailing the research project and the specific resource(s) requested from Internet2. Submit requests via email to The following information is required:

  • The PI(s) and participating institution(s),
  • Proposed project including a one-page proposal abstract delineating the plan for deploying these resources within the project,
  • List of requested resources,
  • List of project-provided resources,
  • Co-location requirements, including ability to provide the necessary co-location space and/or power,
  • Timeline and milestones,
  • Budget information, and
  • Letters of support from the regional and campus networks included in the end-to-end path of the project.

Researchers must confirm their agreement with use conditions, including making the data inaccessible to individuals beyond the approved project, and employing the data only for the approved project. Researchers should allow up to 3 weeks for formal review/approval.

Review criteria will include the project's scientific merit and likely impact (in terms of numbers of participating collaborators and disciplines), the project's likelihood of completing wave use within the approved project period, and the impact and value to the community. Technical review of the proposal will include evaluation of the risk to the Interne2 backbone along with the adequacy of colocation space and power. In addition, projects proposing footprint-wide usage (as opposed to those only requesting segment access) will require additional documentation.

Each researcher will be required to submit brief quarterly reports on the ongoing status and findings of their research, as well as a final report at the conclusion of their use period. Publications resulting from the research must credit use of the Internet2 Research Wave service. Prior to the completion of the use period, the researcher may submit for review a proposal to extend the use period for a specified time.

For more information, contact