Cisco, NASA ally on environmental monitoring

By , Network World |  Green IT, Cisco, NASA

Cisco and NASA this week said they are collaborating on an online global monitoring platform to capture, collect, analyze and report data on environmental conditions around the world.

Called "Planetary Skin," the project will involve NASA and Cisco working to develop the online platform to capture and analyze data from satellite, airborne, sea- and land-based sensors across the globe. This data will be made available for the general public, governments and businesses to measure, report and verify environmental data to help detect and adapt to global climate change.

Cisco and NASA plan to demonstrate pilot projects and prototypes of Planetary Skin next year, including "Rainforest Skin," which will focus on the deforestation of rainforests around the world. It also will examine how to capture, analyze and present information about the changes in the amount of carbon in rainforests.

Citing scientific research, Cisco says the destruction of rainforests causes more carbon to be added to the atmosphere and remain there, contributing to global warming.

NASA provides continuous global observations of Earth using spacecraft, airborne and ground monitors. Cisco will bring its experience in networking technologies to the project.

Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group will conduct data analysis and modeling, and share insights into next generation Internet Protocol architectures to determine how to prototype, replicate and scale a Planetary Skin to millions of participants, Cisco says.

Cisco says it is also working on the Planetary Skin program with the United Nations, banks, businesses, international government agencies, universities, think tanks, non-governmental agencies and foundations. The goal is to develop decision support capabilities to manage natural resources such as biomass, water, land and energy; climate change-related risks such as a rise in sea level, droughts and disease proliferation; and new environmental markets for carbon, water and biodiversity.

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