• United States

In the Navy

Feb 03, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* U.S. Navy uses Linux to provide weather and ocean conditions information

The U.S. Navy relies on its state-of-the-art ocean and atmospheric reporting systems to give its ship captains and fliers the most accurate information on weather conditions and climate. Lately, the Navy’s weather data-gathering arm has turned to Linux to help give its forces this information edge.

The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) of the U.S. Navy operates dozens of METOC (Meteorology and Oceanography) vessels for collecting data on everything from weather and sea conditions to temperatures and the topology of the ocean floor.

In the past, this data was gathered and stored on proprietary Unix-based servers aboard the METOC vessels, then disseminated to the office’s reporting system.  Now, Linux-based servers are used aboard the data gathering ships are helping NAVOCEANO cut costs says John Lever, the office’s CIO. Lever says his group has saved 90% of the cost of the group’s previous installation of proprietary systems by acquiring, installing and maintaining the open-source Linux servers. 

While a majority of NAVOCEANO’s servers are still Unix- and Windows-based, Linux and open source software are making other inroads, such as on Web servers, and in the offices effort to deploy Web services. Lever says NAVOCEANO is using Apache Axis and open Simple Object Application Protocol technology as a Web services platform, for disseminating the office’s weather data over the Navy’s Intranet. Lever adds that the cost, security and reliability of open source has played a large part in his office’s “Webification” of its valuable data over the last several years.