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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 Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs), Time Compliance Technical Orders (TCTOs), Configuration Change Requests (CCRs), Modifications, and computer design changes.

  • Support for 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.

  • Ensures Mission System compliance with federal Information System (IS) policies and directives, identifies and remediates Information Systems (IS) threats and vulnerabilities, and implements the NOAA-directed secure benchmark configuration.

News & Information:


  • FAA CSS-Wx System
    Systems Engineering created a new communication manager and assigned four new RPG TCP ports and dedicated lines for the new FAA Common Support Services - Weather (CSS-Wx) system that will replace existing FAA Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) and Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) connections fleet-wide. CSS-Wx distributes weather radar data, products, and imagery within the National Airspace System (NAS) for integration into air traffic decision support systems, improving the quality of traffic management decisions and reducing controller workload during severe weather. The current WARP & ITWS connections use a separate communication manager and TCP ports than the new CSS-Wx lines, so FAA systems can operate in parallel. FTI is currently increasing bandwidth to each radar from 128Kbps to 640Kbps as a standard. The CSS-Wx Interface Certification Testing (ICT) was completed in August 2022 to allow for the new IP subnets, user IDs and TCP ports to connect from two test systems at the William J Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) into KCRI systems at the ROC. Advanced Volume Coverage Pattern (VCP) and FAA-specific product testing is currently being conducted between KCRI systems and WJHTC. The FAA CSS-Wx acceptance testing is ongoing, and the ATL and SLC key site nodes are able to connect to most WSR-88Ds on RPG lines 7 and 8.

  • RDA Signal Processor Refresh
    The current Radar Signal Processor (RSP) and the internal components are end of life, end of support. The RSP is a rack mounted PC hardware assembly that is used to perform clutter filtering, velocity de-aliasing, range de-aliasing, and antenna, radar, BITE control/monitoring features. The refreshed RSP is scheduled to deploy with Build 22.0.

  • RDA Calibration Laptop Refresh
    The current RDA calibration laptop is end of life and end of support. The RDA calibration laptop is a critical tool to electronic maintenance technicians (EMTs), providing the ability to calibrate and troubleshoot components in the receiver. Sustainment efforts have allowed the ROC (Radar Operations Center) to find a replacement RDA laptop that meets the current requirements. The refreshed RDA calibration laptop is scheduled to deploy with Build 22.0.

  • NEXRAD Hub Router
    The NEXRAD Hub Routers enable network communications paths for radar products (National Level III and AWIPS), Master System Control Function (MSCF) radar command and control systems, and National Level II data transmission between DoD and FAA radars and their hosting NWS WFOs. Private IP / Border Gateway Protocol (PIP/BGP) terrestrial T1 circuits and VSAT/4G backup communication systems provide redundant paths from the hosting NWS WFOs hub routers to the distant-end remote radar RPG routers. NEXRAD hub routers are included in backup communication deployment cases and are engineered/configured for site-specific needs to temporarily provide or restore communications service via 4G or VSAT. Hub routers are also used at some locations to support digital distant-MSCF communications from DoD base weather stations to remote DoD WSR-88D radars. The existing Cisco 2901 Hub routers will be replaced with Cisco ISR 4331 Hub routers in the near future, and will support new terrestrial and back communications service in conjunction with the NOAA-wide GSA Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) transition contract.

  • RPG Server Refresh
    The Radar Product Generator (RPG) is a group of equipment responsible for the generation and distribution of derived weather products. The RPG server provides the computational processing power to run the algorithms that produce these products. The current server has gone end of life, end of sale and are no longer supportable. As part of the system sustainment plan, these servers will be replaced when they are no longer supportable. The refreshed processors are scheduled to deploy in Build 23.0.

  • RDA AND RPG KVM Refresh
    The Next Generation Weather Radar (WSR-88D, NEXRAD) Radar Data Acquisition (RDA) and Radar Product Generator (RPG) equipment as designed require a keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) interface to access the internal software for operational and maintained purposes. The current KVM is no longer manufactured. The refreshed KVM is scheduled to deploy starting in Build 22.0 for RDAs and in Build 23.0 for RPGs.

  • RPG LAN Switch Refresh
    The current RPG LAN switch is nearing end of life and end of support. The LAN switch is a critical device that houses connections to the console server, router, RPG processor, and power admins. This device allows all of the connected devices to talk to each other on the same Local Area Network (LAN), which is an important role in the dissemination of radar data. Sustainment efforts have allowed the ROC (Radar Operations Center) to find a replacement LAN switch that meets the current requirements. It is also estimated that the refreshed LAN switch will offer longer availability times. The refreshed RPG LAN switch is scheduled to deploy in Build 23.0.

    • Security
      The ROC has implemented the Risk Management Framework (RMF), as defined by NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-37 Revision 2: "Risk Management Framework for Information Systems and Organizations" for the WSR-88D, TDWR SPG and NPN systems. The framework provides a 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 for each of the systems. Continuous monitoring results are reaffirmed, and risks are reassessed, documented, and accepted at least annually by each system's Authorizing Official (AO) and Co-AO, to ensure continued Authority to Operate (ATO). The reauthorization of the ATOs for the WSR-88D, TDWR SPG and NPN are documented in writing via signed Re-authorization Memos, and are entered in the DOC Cyber Security Assessment and Management System (CSAM) annually. The WSR-88D has been designated by the Department of Commerce as a high value asset (HVA). The Primary Mission Essential Function (PMEF) assigned to the WSR-88D is to provide the Nation with environmental forecasts, warnings, data, and expertise critical to public safety, disaster preparedness, all-hazards response and recovery, the national transportation system, safe navigation, and the protection of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and natural resources. As per Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 18-02 Securing High Value Assets, the WSR-88D will have an HVA assessment performed every three years, by a DHS Security Assessment Team. HVA assessments are critical to maintain an unbiased view of the risk associated with maintaining an HVA. This HVA assessment is in addition to the annual security assessments performed by the NWS ACIO office.

    • Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) Transition Program
      The EIS contract is the main component of GSA telecommunications portfolio for NOAA. EIS is replacing GSAs current Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts as well as GSA Regional Local Service Agreements for government telecommunications and infrastructure solutions. The EIS contract has a 15-year period of performance (one 5 year base and two 5 year options) and encompasses all WSR-88D, SPG and NPN telecommunications services.

      The current GSA Networx contract, for which most NEXRAD circuits and backup communications systems subscribe for service, expires 31 May 2026. Service provider changes may force hardware, software, and configuration changes within a very short period of time. New hub routers with PIP/BGP service will be deployed with EIS transition. RPG and RDA routers have spare ports allocated for EIS.

    • Redundancy For Commercial T1 Service Between Remove Radars and NWS WFOs
      Backup communications systems to remote radars have increased the remote radar data availability and have mitigated loss of radar data over existing aged terrestrial circuits, especially during and after significant weather events. Remote NEXRAD NWS, FAA and DoD radars are geographically separated from their hosting National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). The current backup communications methods are cellular 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, and 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 backup systems are the same as for VSAT backup systems, 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 are currently in operation across the NEXRAD fleet. The EHB 6-540 has been updated with preventative maintenance instructions and test procedures for NEXRAD field technicians to maintain the backup communication systems. Four portable 4G backup systems and four auto-deploy VSAT systems (fly-aways) are maintained by Systems Engineering. These systems have been deployed several times to support site-specific engineering solutions for radar data recovery, and to establish temporary communications paths for radars when required. Please contact the NEXRAD Hotline for specialized engineering support and deployable backup communication hardware requests.

    • Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Transition
      To comply with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-21-07, Systems Engineers are preparing an IPv6 transition plan for each of the Mission Systems. The OMB memo requires all federal information systems to be fully IPv6 compliant and operating in an IPv6-only environment by the end-of-year 2025. The IPv6 protocol provides over 655 sextillion unique IP addresses, meaning it will take decades, if not centuries, until IP address space is exhausted.Testing is already underway in our labs to identify the necessary changes to the baseline configuration of each system to ensure a successful transition. Since these systems provide weather products and information to principal users in other agencies, we will continue to support IPv4 in a dual-stack (IPv4/IPv6) configuration until each customer has made the transition to IPv6.

    • NOAA Profiler Network (NPN)
      The Radar Operations Center (ROC) primarily supports the WSR-88D, but the National Weather Service (NWS) also recognizes the great benefits of Wind Profiler radar technology. As a result, a proof of concept wind profiler system was developed and deployed in the 1990’s. That equipment provided the basis of NWS specifications for acquisition of a new NOAA wind profiler capability.

      The NWS purchased four new 449 MHz Profilers in 2011. Designed to operate autonomously and continuously, these vertically looking phased array radars provide upper air wind data for use in a variety of analyses and forecasting tasks. Deployed by the ROC, the three systems in Alaska support meteorology and aviation safety, especially an enhanced capability to forecast the path of volcanic ash. The locations for the wind profiler sites are Talkeetna, Homer, and Anchorage, Alaska. The testbed system is installed at the ROC campus in Norman, Oklahoma.

      The wind profiler unit uses preprogrammed operational modes to determine the speed and direction of the wind at different heights directly above the unmanned radar site. Since the wind profilers are at remote sites, the new equipment is designed to operate in a degraded mode in the event of most types of equipment failures. Control software detects and reports problems to NWS maintenance personnel for future correction during site visits. If necessary, the ROC can assist maintenance personnel with NPN problem solving, repair and/or restoration activities, making on-site service and maintenance a cooperative effort among local NWS Weather Forecast Offices, NWS Alaska Region Headquarters and the ROC personnel.

      Current NPN Work

      1. Deployment of NPN Update 7.0
      2. Development of NPN Build 7.1, to be released in 2024, which will include:
        1. Security updates and bug fixes
      3. Analysis of how best to migrate and update NPN communications as part of the Government wide transition to the new Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) communications contract.
      4. Planning for future modifications to fielded equipment, such as an upcoming refresh of the Profiler computers used at the Weather Forecast Office (WFOs) and in the NPN shelters.

      Major ROC responsibilities for NPN include:

      • Provide life cycle support for hardware and software.
      • Provide routine operations and maintenance support.
      • Support configuration and change management.
      • Support for maintenance manuals and depot repair.
      • Support procurement and expansion of NPN, as required.