Adapting Systems to Provide Remote Weather Radar Data

Background: The Supplemental Weather Radar (SWR) Program provides meteorological situational awareness for Navy and Marine Corp activities around the world where existing weather radar data is insufficient. The system is a 250kw Doppler weather radar sensor system that provides real-time meteorological analysis to 240 kilometers. 

Challenge: When the Navy initially installed the SWR, forecasters were collocated with the system and did not need remote access to the data. Due to cutbacks, the forecasters were moved to centralized locations resulting in a need for remote access to the data provided by SWR.  Though the system was capable of remote data delivery, a number of network security policy changes necessitated the removal of SWR from the network until the Navy could implement new network security policies and procedures.  The main obstacle was that the Host Based Security System (HBSS) was required on all networked assets. SWR had a number of internal processes that conflicted with HBSS, resulting in SWR not operating correctly during HBSS implementation.

Solution: Over the course of several months, CSSI Information Assurance and SWR System Administration teams worked with HBSS administrators and engineers to identify each of the individual conflicts between SWR and HBSS.  The main challenge here was accessing the inner workings and relationships of the various processes that make SWR function, since SWR is a commercial product. To overcome this problem, the team developed a logical, step-by-step escalation of implementing HBSS security features to identify the individual, conflicting SWR processes. At each evolution, the team developed a set of policies, rules and exceptions in HBSS to allow SWR to function properly. The process continued until HBSS was operating at the desired security level.

Results: With an operational SWR in the lab in Charleston, SC, the CSSI Information Assurance and SWR System Administration teams collected the HBSS policies, rules and exceptions into a SWR-specific set. They then delivered these sets to the various Navy Network Operation Centers that provided connectivity for SWR around the world. Once they applied specific HBSS data sets to each remote SWR system and tested them, the Navy Network Operation Centers were able to connect the remote SWR systems to the network and once again begin providing remote datasets for mission planners.

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