UK researchers will now be able to use research technology based in the US in near-real time thanks to an international agreement supported by a high-bandwidth cross-Atlantic network.
The Global Lab was established as part of the AtlanTICC Alliance, a sustainable energy research consortium comprising Imperial College London, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. AtlanTICC was established four years ago using a £1.5m grant from the DIUS to support research collaborations between Imperial and US research organisations studying energy sources and the treatment of cancer.
The AtlanTICC Alliance also established a unique UK-US framework agreement between the three partner organisations to help joint research and development teams work together.
The Global Lab links together laboratories in the UK and the US via a network with high bandwidth and low latency, the Lambda Rail, running across the Atlantic seabed. Its properties mean that the transatlantic transmission of data across Lambda Rail is effectively instantaneous.
AtlanTICC scientists have demonstrated that they can simultaneously manipulate complex equipment in the US, and talk to each other across the Lambda Rail via high-resolution video link-up, without a significant time-delay.
One of the machines that can now be controlled from the UK is the world’s leading electron microscope at Oak Ridge, the JEOL 2200FS Aberration Corrected Electron Microscope (ACEM). There are only a small number of such machines worldwide that provide scientists with true atomic-scale resolution.
Imperial researchers will now be able to access this technology to carry out research into alternatives to fossil fuels, such as the next generation of low-cost solar power cells, advanced fuel cells and innovative biofuels, in collaboration with their colleagues in America.