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Courtesy of Wade Hampton: Linux is ideally suited for use as a research tool for environmental experiments. There are small embedded Linux solutions that can be used for remote monitoring or telemetry. There are VERY small Linux implementations from PC-104 systems to embedded systems like the uCsimm. Linux even flew on the shuttle controlling biological experiments.... Linux has been used for weather research on NOAA's Hurricane Hunter aircraft.
Linux is also an ideal platform for researching ecological and environmental information via the Internet using standard WWW-based tools like Netscape.
Linux may even be used to model complex biological and environmental processes. beowulf clusters have been used to run complex simulations of environmental processes, for example Earthdome, listed in the Beowulf projects page.