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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 a refresh of Level II data aggregation to the National Level II (NL2) Servers. The changes enhance system performance, reliability and operational monitoring capability. The National servers at the National Weather Service Telecommunications Gateway (NWSTG) and at the Radar Operation Center in Norman Oklahoma have both been migrated to the NWS fiber enterprise network. The ROC has developed and implemented monitoring software to provide detailed status of the WSR-88D and NL2 systems extracted from the metadata in each level 2 stream. 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.


  • 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 re-authorization of the ATO is documented in writing via a signed Re-authorization Memo, and entered in the DOC FISMA Reporting System annually.


  • FRAME RELAY HUB ROUTER:
    Over the last year, the ROC has been replacing old Cisco 2621XM Frame Relay Hub Routers with new Cisco 2901 NEXRAD Hub Routers. These routers enable communications for radar products (AWIPS and Level III), MSCF command and control, and Level II data transmission between DoD and FAA radars and their associated WFOs. The Telcos discontinued Frame Relay Services (FRS) at the end of March 2017 and Systems engineering has replaced all old Frame Relay services with Private IP services using Border Gateway Protocol. Supplemental connections between NEXRADs and non-associated WFOs have been rerouted over the AWIPS WAN. There are a few old Frame Relay Hub Routers that still need to be replaced; these host non-FRS circuits for DoD.


  • RPG CONSOLE SERVER:
    The current Console Server 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 in 2018.


  • ENABLE REDUNDANCY FOR COMMERCIAL T1 SERVICE BETWEEN REMOTE RADARS AND NWS WFOs:
    Redundant communications to remote radars has increased the remote radar data availability and has significantly mitigated losing data over existing aged terrestrial circuits, especially during weather. Remote NEXRAD radars are geographically separated from their hosting National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). The backup communications methods are 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 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 comms systems.


  • RPG GPS Server:
    The current RDA GPS Server has reached end of life and end of support. The NTP server provides reliable and accurate UTC time to multiple network devices in the RDA and the RPG, e.g., servers, routers, and switches. NTP servers time stamp weather data and products as they are generated. To be useful, weather products and mosaics must have accurate time stamps for meteorologists to issue forecasts and weather alerts to the public. The sole purpose of the NTP Server is to provide an accurate and reliable time source for the RDA and RPG components. Precision timing is a critical factor in the quality and reliability of products disseminated by the NEXRAD weather radar.