85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005
AWIPS interdependencies
Franz Zichy, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and J. Barna and T. Hopkins
Every year the Office of Science and Technologyís System Engineering Center (SEC) prepares an AWIPS plan that details planned projects for the upcoming 5 years. AWIPS projects specified in the plan indicate how SEC will use information technology to meet AWIPS performance goals and how various hardware, software, and communications technology refresh projects impact each other.

The SECís primary function is to reflect the overall direction of technology it plans to implement over the upcoming years. The function of SEC is to provide NWS-wide leadership and services that facilitate cost-effective information systems and telecommunication solutions for its customers. SECís role is to be service oriented; partnering with our customers to use information technology to achieve their organizational goals. As technology leaders, SEC works with NWS organizations, field offices, and outside customers to explore emerging technologies and to set policies, standards, and guidelines for the AWIPS baseline architecture. As facilitators, SEC communicates with customers, on both a managerial and technical level, to identify potential opportunities for information technology within NWS programs. Finally, SEC provides the infrastructure resources to support information technology and provide the AWIPS performance goals outlined in the National Weather Service National Performance Measures for the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals.

The SEC faces significant challenges in identifying and analyzing the various interdependencies associated with AWIPS hardware, software, and communication projects. These challenges are greatly magnified by the breadth and complexity of the AWIPS critical national infrastructure; how the environment influences normal system operations; the degree to which the infrastructures are coupled or linked, which can affect their ability to adapt to changing system conditions; and finally, interdependencies and the resultant interactions which can lead to unintended behaviors and consequences.

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