Glossary of Terms

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Access Point: The connection that ties various wireless-enabled devices together into a network. It is often connected to a wired network.

Base Station: See Access Point

Bluetooth: Devices with Bluetooth capabilities can communicate wirelessly with other similarly equipped items. However, Bluetooth range is very limited.

Communication Hub Stations: In our project, communication hub stations serving as network bases will broadcast the GAN signal amplified up to the airships.

Compact Module: The portion of the FDIA that does not display information. When the FDIA is fully retracted, the shape-shifting screen recedes completely into the Compact Module.

CPU: Central processing unit. Often called the "brain" of a computer.

Directional Sound: Typical sound disperses over a distance; directional sound remains focused. Generally, a piezoelectric transducer generates highly focused waves upwards of 20,000 HZ. By interacting with the air, these waves induce ultrasonic waves, which then interfere with the original waves to produce audible sound in a focused beam.

FAST: FAST CP, or Fast Active queue management Scalable Transmission Control Protocol, takes a different approach (uses different algorithms) to data congestion. Designed by Caltech, FAST protocol was designed for high-speed data transfers over long distances (it operates at 95 percent throughput instead of the 30-40 percent, typical of standard TCP) and wireless networks.

FDIA: Flat Display Information Assistant. This project centers on the FDIA and the GAN. The FDIA is the device that the GAN is accessed through.

Fiber Optic: A fiber optic cable has a glass core as opposed to typical electrical wire and can transmit data through light pulses.

GAN: Global Area Network. In our Wireless Information Integration Project, GAN is propagated with stratosphere-based airships that serve as wireless signal amplifiers.

Gbps: Gigabits per second: a transfer rate of approximately one billion bits of data per second.

GHz: Gigahertz: approximately one billion cycles of electrical frequency per second.

Gigabyte: A Gigabyte is approximately one billion bytes (eight billion bits) of data.

GPS: A present day network of satellites that uses three or four satellites at a time to determine X, Y, Z, and/or time coordinates of any given object, building, etc.

GPS4: The "future" version of GPS that will have resolutions greater than one square meter.

IAR treatment: A current method of treating plastic film speakers by bombarding them with low energy ions. so they only require 40 microns of leeway to vibrate.

IEEE: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which is pronounced "I-triple-E." This organization sets certain standards for fields like wireless technology.

Kbps: Kilo-bits per second: about one thousand bits a second.

LAN: A local area network, which consists of a number of communicating devices—often computers—linked together to form a small scale network.

Mbps: Megabits per second.: a transfer rate of approximately one million bits of data per second.

Meta Data: Special data in a webpage's html code that often describes the page's relativity or context. Meta data is extensively used by search engines.

MHz: Megahertz: approximately one million cycles of electrical frequency per second.

MIMO: Multiple In, Multiple Out. This technology allows antennae to process numerous incoming and outgoing signals simultaneously.

Moore's Law: An observation by Gordon Moore that transistor density doubles every few years. Currently, technology speeds double every 18 months.

MRAM: Magnetic Random-Access Memory. Unlike current RAM, MRAM does not require constant electricity to hold its data; rather, it stores information in magnetic fields of irregularly shaped cobalt or nickel nanorings.

Nanolithography: A small-scale "printing" process in nanotechnology that allows the production of extremely compact circuits.

Nanotechnology: The development of atomic, molecular, or microscopic technology under 100 nanometers.

Nanosphere Lithography: A type of nanolithography that uses nanosphere assembly to produce nanorings.

ORB: Organic Radical Battery: a battery powered with organic free radicals.

Quantum Cryptography: Typical cryptography uses mathematical formulas to encode data. However, Quantum Cryptography uses the physics of physical data transfer (i.e. photon properties of fiber optics) to hide the data from eavesdroppers. Thus, the encryption of data is done with respect to the data itself, the sender, the receiver, and the physical medium, instead of a numerical key.

RFID: These electronic tags on objects broadcast bits of information. For example, a future refrigerator could read a milk carton's RFID tag to determine when the milk will expire.

Tablet PCs: A tablet PC is shaped like laptop. Instead of folding open, however, the screen is usually the only interface, and data is inputted with a stylus (pen-like device).

Terabyte: Roughly one thousand gigabytes of storage space.

TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This protocol works with data packets to allow computers to exchange information.

TVoIP: A proposed method for sending streaming video over Internet Protocol. It is similar to VOIP, but would offer videoconferencing as well.

VOIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol. This allows users to carry voice signals (conversations) over the Internet like they would with a telephone.

WAN: A Wide Area Network. Similar to a LAN, but spans a much larger area. The Internet is a WAN.

WEP: Wireless Equivalency Privacy is a security protocol for many WiFi networks that depends on an often omitted security key for success.

WIFI: WIreless Fidelity. The current term for wireless Internet broadcast over certain standards like 802.11b, 802.11g, etc.

WIMAX: A proposed "next-generation" wireless broadband network based on IEEE 802.16 standards that allows much greater coverage than WIFI.

WI^2: Wireless Information Integration. The goal of thoroughly incorporating several currently coexisting or developing information networks into a singular, easily accessible network.


Designed for Toshiba's Exploravision Competition
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Wireless Information Integration