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The light partners

The KyaTera Project integrates dozens of laboratories by way of optical fibers

A project that is going to interlink dozens of laboratories in the State of Sao Paulo by way of optical fibers began operations on the 14th of April. Financed through FAPESP, the KyaTera Project (Optical Research Platform for the Development of an Advanced Internet) brings together unprecedented tools, capable of displacing the institutional and geographic frontiers that separate researchers. By way of its platform, an individual installed in a laboratory at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), for example, could control, by way of programs developed for the network, instruments in a laboratory of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp). It will not just be a platform but also a stage for research concerning applications for the advanced internet. The first trials were carried out at a speed of 320 gigabits per second, but its capacity has no limits, hence the illusion to the terabit, which corresponds to 1,000 gigabits. Kya means a fish net in the tupi-guarani (native language of Brazil). Tera, in Greek, stands for the value of 1 trillion. “More than just researching applications via the internet, the platform will allow for researching the network itself, as to the quantity of terabits that can be transmitted in a fiber”, explains the project’s coordinator, Hugo Fragnito, a professor at the Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute of Unicamp.

Selected projects
During the first phase, institutions from the city of São Paulo, such as USP, the Heart Institute and Mackenzie University, were interlinked with institutions in Campinas, namely Unicamp, the Catholic Pontifical University and the CPqD (Research and Development center in Telecommunications). Shortly there will be a connection with Sao Carlos (USP and the Federal University) and later on with laboratories in the cities of Rio Claro, Santos, Bauru, Ribeirão Preto and Sao José dos Campos. FAPESP has already selected projects for the KyaTera that involve six hundred (600) professors and students linked to groups of excellence in areas such as physics, mechanical and electrical engineering, computing, mechatronics, robotics, biology and medicine. The KyaTera Project is integrated into FAPESP’s Tidia Program (Information Technology in the Development of an Advanced Internet). The operational base will be used for other projects linked to the Tidia Program, such as the development of tools for teaching and learning via the internet.

A ceremony carried out on the 14th of April at Unicamp marked the start of the KyaTera Project operations. José Fernando Perez, in one of his final commitments as FAPESP’s scientific director acquainted those present with the KyaTera Project within the challenges that the Foundation and Brazilian research are confronting. Citing the book O Sol, o genoma e a internet [The Sun, the Genome and the Internet], in which the author, Freeman Dyson, points to three fundamental questions for the future of humanity, Dr. Perez stated: “As to the sun, our tropical country has it in abundance. In relation to the genome, Brazil entered onto the map of the countries that have carried out relevant research. Concerning the internet, the KyaTera Project also shows that we’re dedicating our best efforts”, said Dr. Perez, who was congratulated by his successor, Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, who was also present at the ceremony as one of his final commitments in the role of Unicamp rector.