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AccessGrid

The LSU Eye Center is a participating institution in the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN), a program initially funded by the National Institutes of Health through the National Center for Research Resources. One of the goals of the LBRN is to network research facilities in Louisiana to foster collaborative research efforts. To make this happen, AccessGrid (AG) installations have been deployed in all four campuses participating in the LBRN.

Facility:
The LSU Eye Center has AG rooms located on both the 3rd and 4th floors of the Lions/LSU Eye Center building, rooms 3B2 and 4D1. AG technology is a versatile tool that allows true collaboration, from distant learning to virtual experiments, among all LBRN sites and other AccessGrid sites around the world. There are conference-style chairs and tables to accommodate up to 50 attendees comfortably.

 

The LSU Eye Center 4th floor AG room. It can comfortably accommodate up to 20 attendees. Also located in the AG room is a Fakespace Immersadesk for data visualization. The room also offers a plasma display outfitted with a whiteboard overlay and wireless internet access for meeting participants.
 
 
AccessGrid room display screen. The screen is located on the back wall and it is 18’W x 4’H. Three ceiling-mounted projectors display live video streams from remote sites.

Equipment:

Display Workstation

    Dual 2 GHz Xeon (Next Technologies) workstation, 1GB RAM
    36GB U360 SCSI, Zip-250, CD/DVD-ROM drives
    Gigabit network card
    Matrox G450 AGP video board (2 outputs)
    Matrox G400 PCI video board (2 outputs)
    AG 2.0 software, MS Office XP, MS Windows 2000

This server is responsible for displaying all incoming video streams. Two outputs from the Matrox G450 and one output from the Matrox G400 drive the three LCD projectors. The spare video output is used to drive an internal LCD monitor used by the AG node operator. The display workstation also serves as the control PC for the new AG 2.0 software.

Audio/Video capture workstation
    Dual 1.45 GHz PIII (Dell PowerEdge 2500) workstation, 1GB RAM,
    36GB U360 SCSI hard drive, CD-ROM drive
    Gigabit network card
    Happaupage WinTV video capture boards (3)
    SoundBlaster PCI-16 audio board
    AG 2.0 software, Red Hat Linux 7.2.

This server is responsible for capturing three video and one audio streams, encoding them, and multicasting them to all attendees in the session.

Control workstation
    Dual 1.8GHz Xeon (Dell PowerEdge 2600) workstation, 1GB RAM
    36GB U360 SCSI hard drive, CD=ROM drive
    Gigabit network card
    Gentner control software, MS Windows 2000

This workstation is used to control the Gentner XAP-800 Echo Canceler unit and for future AG node upgrades.

Audio Equipment
    Gentner XAP-800 Echo Canceler unit
    MatchMaker MM100 Gentner – PC Impedance Matching bridge
    Three Crown microphones placed on the conference tables
    Podium microphone
    Countryman Microphone headset
    Two Genelec amplified speakers mounted on both sides of the screen

Video Equipment
    Three Sony EVI-30 conference cameras
    Three ViewSonic PJ1065 LCD Projectors
    Pioneer PDP-50 50” plasma display

Other
    Two APC rack-mounted UPS backup units
    42U equipment rack
    1U rack-mounted LCD monitor and keyboard combo to control all AG workstations
    Furman PL8 Power Conditioner for powering audio equipment
    Wireless Access Point and Wireless Network adapters (802.11B) for internet access
    Netgear 8-port unmanaged gigabit switch
    Dell 8-port KVM switch

 

AccessGrid equipment rack. All necessary computers to run the AG node are installed on a 42U rack. Uninterruptible Power Supplies are also included to protect the equipment
 
 
Schematic of the LSU Eye Center AG node. Video from three cameras is digitized in the Audio/Video workstation. Audio from three microphones is fed to an echo canceler (Gentner XAP-800) and then routed to the Audio workstation where it gets digitized and together with video are multicast to other participating institutions. Incoming video streams are projected onto the display wall via three LCD projectors. Audio streams are fed to a pair of amplified Genelec speakers. The Gentner echo canceler is controlled with a dedicated workstation.