Affiliations: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA Tel.: +1 818 354 3212; Fax: +1 818 393 3302; E‐mail:[email protected] | National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA Research and Education Network, Incline Village, NV, USA E‐mail:[email protected] | National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, USA E‐mail:[email protected] | Sapporo Medical University, Sapporo, Japan | Institute of Applied Space Research, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA E‐mail:[email protected] | Communications Research Laboratory, Independent Administrative Institution, Tokyo, Japan Tel.: +81 423 27 7513; Fax: +81 423 24 8966; E‐mail:[email protected] | National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA E‐mail:[email protected] | University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA E‐mail:[email protected] | Satellite Systems Consultant, Lawrenceville, NJ, USA E‐mail:[email protected]
Note:  Corresponding author: Eddie Hsu, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Ms 300‐123, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
Abstract: In 1993, a proposal at the Japan‐US Science, Technology, and Space Applications Program (JUSTSAP) workshop led to a subsequent series of satellite communications experiments and demonstrations, under the title of Trans‐Pacific High Data Rate Satellite Communications Experiments. The first phase of which was a joint collaboration between government and industry teams in the United States and Japan that successfully demonstrated distributed high definition video (HDV) post‐production on a global scale using a combination of high data rate satellites and terrestrial fiber optic asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks. This was followed by the Phase‐2 Internet Protocol (IP) based experiments and demonstrations [4–6] in tele‐medicine and distance education, using another combination of two high data rate satellites and terrestrial fiber optic networks. The Visible Human tele‐medicine and Remote Astronomy distance education demonstrations and their use of distributed systems technologies afforded an opportunity for people around the world to work together as a virtual team under one roof, using resources thousands of miles away as if they were next to each other. The visible human activity demonstrated global‐scale interactive biomedical image segmentation, labeling, classification, and indexing using large images; the remote astronomy activity demonstrated collaborative observation and distance education at multiple locations around the globe and the transparent operations of distributed systems technologies over a combination of broadband satellites and terrestrial networks. The use of Internet Protocol related technologies allowed the general public to be an integral part of the exciting activities, helped to examine issues in constructing a global information infrastructure with broadband satellites, and afforded an opportunity to tap the research results from the (reliable) multicast and distributed systems communities. This paper summarizes the Phase‐2 of Trans‐Pacific series of experiments and demonstrations by an international team in Canada, Japan, and the United States.