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We developed a multimedia satellite network system based on the Internet protocol (IP) and personal computers. It enables collaborative distance education between outdoor and indoor environments. Integration of IP technologies and satellite communications enhances the flexibility of the network system. The satellite communication system enables us to communicate to and from outdoor environments where terrestrial infrastructures are poor or do not exist. Personal-computer-based systems allow us to utilize already available software and to make the outdoor system portable and easy to install outdoors. We conducted an experiment for collaborative distance education between a farm and an immersive display environment by using the multimedia satellite communication system and a transportable Earth station outdoors. The experiment showed that our system could be used for collaborative distance education between outdoor and indoor environments, and could reduce the amount of equipment needed outdoors.
Date of Conference: 9-11 July 2003