Keane gets AWIPS subcontract

Keane has snagged the largest subcontract under Raytheon Technical Services’ $300 million Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) contract with the National Weather Service.

The Boston-based integrator values its portion of the AWIPS deal at about $54 million over 10 years. Keane will offer application management, software testing and technology migration services under its subcontract. The company provided the first details of its subcontracting role this week. NWS awarded the prime contract to Raytheon in August.

Raytheon’s operations and maintenance contract represents the first major AWIPS milestone since the system’s completion in 1999. Litton PRC, now part of Northrop Grumman, captured the AWIPS integration contract in 1992. AWIPS provides computing and data communications resources to support NWS weather forecasters.

Under the initial phase of its subcontract, Keane will manage an application that integrates forecasting data from various laboratories, said Sumeet Shrivastava, managing director of Keane’s Federal Systems unit.

A second, optional phase of the subcontract would extend Keane’s application outsourcing work to include the forecasting applications in the labs. This project would “take the operations and maintenance support of the lab-based software applications and roll them into this performance-based contract,” Shrivastava said.

NWS meteorologists and hydrologists are on call to support the forecasting applications. By outsourcing that function, they can focus on science rather than infrastructure, Shrivastava said.

As for software testing, Keane plans to standardize the testing environment and associated methodologies. Shrivastava said Keane will also introduce more automated tools. The integrator will look at software testing products from companies such as Compuware and Mercury Interactive as it analyzes products for inclusion. Shrivastava said half the subcontract’s focus will be on managing the testing environment.

Keane will also help complete an open systems migration at NWS. AWIPS originally was deployed in Unix, but NWS is in the process of moving to Linux, specifically Red Hat Enterprise 3.0.

GTSI also is subcontracting to Raytheon on AWIPS. The company will provide hardware, software, managed fulfillment services, technology refresh and maintenance, according to GTSI, which declined to discuss the value of its subcontract.

Raytheon’s other AWIPS team members include Globecomm Systems, Ensco, Reston Consulting Group, Fairfield Technologies, Apex Digital Systems and Earth Resources Technology.

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