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ROC SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

ROC Systems Engineering provides technical consulting services on NEXRAD network, computer systems, and telecommunications equipment. Systems Engineering is also responsible for WSR-88D security implementations. Systems Engineering also provides the following services to WSR-88D system users:

  • Development, review, and recommendations on all ECPs, TCTOs and computer design changes.
  • Support to field operations.
  • Review of radar performance data and recommendations for observed problems in systems reliability.
  • Requirements analysis, feasibility studies and cost analysis for problem resolution.
  • Implementation of change requests involving computer, telecommunications systems and data storage.
  • Management of test programs for data distribution and storage systems.

News & Information:

CURRENT SYSTEMS ENGINEERING TOPICS:

  • LEVEL II:
    The ROC has completed the re-architecture of Level II data to the National Servers. National servers have been established at the National Weather Service Telecommunications Gateway (NWSTG) and at the Radar Operation Center. The ROC has developed and implemented monitoring software to provide detailed status of the WSR-88D and Level II systems. Both the ROC and the NWSTG are staffed 24/7 to provide data monitoring support. The data collected by these servers is delivered to the user community via Internet 2.

  • The ROC continues to work issues supporting Level II:
    • Removing the Sonicwall hardware, connecting the RPG directly to OPSnet, and providing sites access to local NWS Level II data. The modification is currently being deployedand completion is planned by April 2015. Efforts to remove the Sonicwalls supporting DoD and FAA sites will commence after the completion of NWS sites.


  • SECURITY:
    For the WSR-88D, the ROC has implemented the Risk Management Framework (RMF), as defined by NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-37 Revision 1: “Guide for Applying the Risk management Framework to Federal Information Systems”. The RMF replaces the Certification and Accreditation (C&A) process previously in place for the WSR-88D. The new framework provides a more dynamic approach which leverages robust continuous monitoring to support on-going authorization and risk management as part of a more steady state, less cyclical process. Continuous monitoring results are reaffirmed, and risks are reassessed, documented, and accepted at least annually by the WSR-88D Authorizing Official (AO) and Co-AO, to ensure the system’s continued Authority to Operate (ATO). The reauthorization of the ATO is documented in writing via a signed Reauthorization Memo, and entered in the DOC FISMA Reporting System annually.


  • TDWR SPG:
    SPG processors support product generation and status monitoring. The current processors are end of support and near end of life. Refresh is planned for 2015. Installation will be performed by the field.


  • RPG SERVER:
    The RPG server receives base data from the RDA and processes the data using stored algorithm to develop a set of derived meteorological products. The RPG current server has reached end of life and end of support. Engineering is in the process of replacing the server with a new model. The new RPG server will be part of Build 16 deployment. The installation will take an estimated 5.5 hours to complete 1 channel, and an additional 3 hours to complete the second channel for FAA sites.


  • FRAME RELAY HUB ROUTER:
    The existing NEXRAD frame relay hub routers are end of life and end of support. These routers enable frame relay communications for radar product distribution, MSCF command and control, and Level II data transmission between DoD and FAA radars and their associated WFOs, as well as some supplemental connections between NEXRADs and non-associated WFOs. Supplemental connections are only used for product distribution and not for MSCF or Level II data. The project plan is to refresh the routers supporting primary feeds to DoD and FAA radars and to eliminate or transition supplemental feeds to other transport mechanisms. Installation of new hub routers will be performed by the field with ROC provided modification notes. It will take each site approximately an hour.


  • RDA CONSOLE SERVER:
    The current RDA remote access server provides remote access to limited RDA network components for power reset, troubleshooting and diagnostics. The current unit is end of life and end of support and cannot be expanded to accommodate future needs. A modification note will be provided for field installation of the replacement console server. Deployment is planned to begin October 2014.


  • ENABLE REDUNDANCY FOR COMMERCIAL T1 SERVICE BETWEEN REMOTE RADARS AND NWS WFOs:
    This modification is to establish wireless backup communications for NEXRAD commercial T1 circuits that support primary communications between geographically-separated Radar Data Acquisition (RDA) units to Radar Product Generator (RPG) units at the WFOs. NEXRAD commercial wideband T1 circuits are in operation over aging terrestrial wire-line infrastructures. Redundant communications to remote radars will increase the remote radar data availability and will mitigate risks of losing data over existing terrestrial point-to-point circuits. Remote NEXRAD radars are geographically separated from their hosting National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). 57 ea NWS WSR-88D radars, 22 ea DoD radars and 12 ea FAA radars are considered remote radars from their hosting NWS WFOs. The alternate communications methods supported by this specific modification is for wireless 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and for satellite Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) at sites that cannot achieve adequate 4G LTE signal strength. The NEXRAD router configurations and auto fail-over mechanisms for 4G are the same as VSAT, such that either 4G or VSAT technology may be deployed to any given site, depending on service capabilities and cost efficiencies. Both backup technologies have been successfully installed and tested at the Radar Operations Center (ROC). Six radar field sites were selected for 4G testing; five sites are currently installed with 4G LTE equipment and are undergoing testing. Three radar field sites were selected for VSAT testing; one site is currently installed with VSAT equipment and is undergoing testing. Status to date indicates both 4G and VSAT testing are performing as designed. Due to the complex nature of these modifications the ROC will perform the 4G modification. For the VSAT modification, a third party contractor will perform site surveys and hardware installation, and the ROC will perform system acceptance and checkout. The current deployment plan has 4G installation beginning in 2Q FY15. Additional information for VSAT deployment timeline will be provided once VSAT testing is solidified.