Boeing to help DHS with surveillance software

The Homeland Security Department and prime contractor Boeing Co. are planning to develop and test software for the SBInet border surveillance system at a new joint-operations demonstration lab in Arlington, Va.

Employees from Chicago-based Boeing and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are working side by side to develop SBInet's Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Common Operating Picture (C3I COP), according to an agency news release. The common operating picture provides a comprehensive view on the computer of multiple activities occurring in the field.

SBInet software engineers are using a spiral-development method, also known as Rapid Application Development/Joint Application Design, the news release said. Spiral development typically is applied to experimental new products that are developed quickly, evolved and perfected through several generations before final testing.

The methodology allows for frequent adjustments along the way to ensure greater satisfaction with the end product and also provides flexibility to adapt to changing operational conditions, the news release said.

"The spiral development of the system allows feedback from CBP personnel to be incorporated early in and throughout the process, which ensures that the system being developed is the right system to meet their needs," the release stated.

The joint Mission Operations Area in Arlington includes a demonstration facility, software development and test labs, and work space for the program's software engineering group. It officially opened Feb. 6.

The mission operations area is linked electronically with other SBInet development sites in Huntsville, Ala.; Mesa, Ariz.; and Huntington Beach, Calif. The linkages will allow for effective integration, connectivity and configurations between the hardware and software components of the C3I COP system, the release said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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