RS Information Systems Extends Reach Into Doppler Work

RS Information Systems Inc. of McLean, Va., won a four-year, $29 million contract to upgrade the nation's weather radar systems, the company announced July 16.

RSIS and the National Weather Service will develop and upgrade the radar data acquisition segment of the service's next generation Doppler radar system.

The contract "represents a major step toward a company objective of leveraging our IT engineering expertise into vital engineering programs," said Rodney Hunt, president and chief executive officer of RSIS, which provides technical and business solutions in information technology, science, engineering and management consulting.

"In addition to the expansion of the information processing capacity of the computer hardware and software, other components will require architectural design and systems engineering integration for the provision of a complete system," Hunt said.

To support the project, the company will provide engineers in electronics, electrical, mechanical, propulsion and aerospace, he said.

Deployed at 184 sites throughout the United States, the National Weather Service's Weather Doppler Radar system provides advance warnings of severe conditions, such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. RSIS' work will facilitate real-time transmissions of radar signals and raw data.

Under the systems engineering and development contract, RSIS is tasked with making the radar system's data acquisition segment easier to operate and maintain. The system must also use commercial hardware and software technology, and be easily expandable to meet future weather forecasting needs, both attributes now needed in the original design.

RSIS must also minimize downtime during installation. For this challenge, the company plans installation during "periods of good weather," Hunt said.

Subcontractors on the project are: SI International Inc., McLean Va., a privately held professional services company; Mercury Computer Systems Inc. of Chelmsford, Mass., which will supply key digital signal processing equipment; and weather radar equipment manufacturer Sigmet Radar Data Systems, Westford, Mass, which will serve as an expert consultant.

RSIS' science and engineering division supports more than 30 NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration programs. RSIS also supports NOAA through contracts providing software and systems engineering for advanced weather interactive processing system, and for data processing and distribution of satellite imagery.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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