Current Initiatives

Edgar Mine

The Research Support Services group, funded by NSF award #1925747, will architect and deploy state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure for Mines’ Edgar Experimental Mine.  As part of this NSF-funded project, the following outcomes will be realized:

  • Layer-2 connectivity via the Front Range GigaPop (FRGP) from the main Mines campus. This will provide not only high speed connectivity required for potential research, it will address security and reliability concerns related to the current DSL connection.
  • 10Gb WAN connectivity to the Edgar Mine surface buildings via directional wireless access points from Clear Creek Recreation Center (CCRC).
  • Establish an armored fiber backbone and wireless capabilities from the surface buildings throughout the Edgar Mine to create a robust, flexible infrastructure to meet current and future needs of research.
  • Provide Edgar Mine’s faculty and students with similar service and support as compared to Mines’ main campus.
  • Extend the campus information and cyber-security infrastructure to include Edgar Mine network
  • Enable high-speed flexible data transfer to Mines’ main campus and external entities, using Globus or other transfer services.

Award Overview

The Colorado School of Mines’ Edgar Experimental Mine is a unique underground facility dedicated to academic teaching and learning, professional training, and a broad spectrum of research that spans nearly every department at the Colorado School of Mines (Mines), as well as collaborations with other universities, state and federal government agencies, and industry. 

While Mines’ main campus is supported by a robust information technology and cyberinfrastructure, connectivity to and the technology infrastructure within the Edgar Mine significantly limits this unique facility from realizing its full potential in supporting the greatest breadth of academic pursuit and scientific research. This includes research far beyond traditional notions around research in an underground mine. The goal of this award is to provide the necessary cyberinfrastructure for the Edgar Mine to significantly expand its capacity for research and education, directly supporting the current and future research goals of the university.

Intellectual Merit

Providing high-speed connectivity to and upgrading technological infrastructure within the Edgar Mine would empower a variety of research projects from nearly all department at the institution, including:

  • Wired and wireless underground data and voice communications
  • Advanced ad-hoc networking and communication systems
  • Sub-surface studies of microbial genetics and environmental DNA
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications research in a unique, constrained environment
  • Digital imaging and surveying of underground workings and generating digital images for virtual reality simulations
  • Remote and autonomous control of terrestrial and aerial robots
  • Remote monitoring/control of underground ventilation systems and air quality
  • Remote monitoring of ground stresses and ground movement
  • Recording and monitoring of geologic features, seismic, electric or magnetic anomalies
  • Locating and tracking persons and equipment, monitoring of vital statistics

Broader Impacts of Proposed Work

Technological and cyberinfrastructure upgrades to the Edgar Mine would result in the following broader impacts:

  • Further establish Edgar Mine as the premier, unique facility for innovative research in underground environments
  • Research and testing in a specialized environment that is customized to the research purpose and goals, and free of production and scheduling pressures that limit the research possibilities in other underground locations
  • Provide a unique environment for students, educators, researchers, and external partners to collaborate across a wide variety of scientific disciplines

 

Big Data

The Research Support Services group is in the process of acquiring faculty input to submit a joint proposal for Big Data Analytics  infrastructure at Mines.  If you would like to contribute information or project examples for this proposal, please contact Matthew Ketterling.

Visualization

The Research Support Services group is in the process of gathering requirements for visualization expertise and infrastructure for the Mines community.  One goal of this initiative is to equip the Sub-surface Frontiers building with visualization capabilities, while the other is to support Mines research holistically.

Volume Storage

The Research Support Services group is in the process of deploying the second generation of storage infrastructure for the Mines research community.  The goals for storage infrastructure include a cost effective means to storage data, the ability to expand the capacity of the storage system to accommodate an increasing need, and for the system to be maintained in a sustainable way.

Technical Goals:  
  Dual controller’s to limit downtime
  ZFS filesystem to ensure data integrity
  Drives configured as RAID-Z2 (RAID 6) to ensure data redundancy
  Availability of snapshots to allow file recovery
   
 
Sub-Surface Frontiers Initiatives

Research Support Services is currently involved with several initiatives within the proposed Sub-Surface Frontiers building, and partnerships between Mines and the USGS researchers.  As part of the collaboration, Research Support Services is gathering resource requirements for HPC and visualization capabilities required to drive sub-surface research.