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Released March 15, 2005


Stennis Space Center- The University of Southern Mississippi will partner with the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI) and the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) to conduct a research and development (R&D) program on the Navy's adoption and usage of open source software.

The effort is part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between OSSI and the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC). The three-year R&D program will explore the Navy's usage of open source software within their Web services, scientific computing and enterprise architecture systems.

The CRADA is the second such major R&D program between the U.S. Navy and the Hattiesburg, Miss.-based OSSI. The initial CRADA between the Navy and OSSI was conducted between October 2001 and 2004 and enabled the Navy to identify and document extensive usage of open source applications and programs within their enterprise systems.

"Open source" describes software whose license agreement permits unrestricted access to the software program's source code, or internal blueprint. Developers and users of open source software are legally allowed, and encouraged, to update, share and customize the software to meet their specific needs without fees or restrictions. Enhancements and modifications, however, must be contributed back to the greater "community" of users and developers if the program is further distributed.

By allowing and encouraging collaborative participation, open source software has proven to be extremely manageable, robust and secure, since countless developers are constantly reviewing the collective code base. Most open source programs can also be freely and legally obtained by downloading from the Internet.

Dr. Rex Gandy, dean of the College of Science and Technology, and Dr. Andrew Strelzoff, assistant professor of computer science, attended the recent CRADA signing ceremony at CNMOC headquarters at the Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Strelzoff will serve as the OSSI project team leader for the Scientific and Mission-Oriented Computing phase of the CRADA project. His research team, consisting of faculty and graduate students from the Southern Miss Department of Computer Science, will develop and implement new and unique "code only" software tools designed to study the Navy's software development, maintenance and restructuring processes.

"We are delighted to be a part of the OSSI research team," said Strelzoff. "Our group is tasked with developing original software programs that the Navy can use, define and analyze open source programs within various IT systems. This is a great opportunity for our department and grad students to get hands-on experience and to make a significant contribution to the Navy and the open source software community."

An official kickoff meeting for the CRADA participants is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, at Stennis Space Center. OSSI will announce additional participating industry and academic members of its technical development and research team.

"I am thrilled to have Southern Miss on board with this CRADA," said OSSI Executive Director John Weathersby. "And I'm grateful for their taking a leadership role and dedicating resources and personnel to the program. I am confident that (Southern Miss') involvement will add great benefit to the program."

About the Open Source Software Institute

The Open Source Software Institute is a nonprofit (501 c 6) organization whose mission is to promote the development and implementation of open source software solutions within U.S. federal, state and municipal government agencies and academic entities. Information on OSSI activities, and a results briefing on the initial Navy CRADA can be found on the OSSI Website at


Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command ( is a third-echelon operational command reporting to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (

The command is aligned to and focused on the Navy's five war-fighting disciplines-- Anti-Submarine Warfare; Special Warfare; Mine Warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; and Fleet Operations (Strike and Expeditionary)--as well as the following war-fighting support disciplines: Navigation, Precise Time and Astrometry, Maritime Operations and Aviation Operations.

The command's personnel are located at its headquarters at the John C. Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., and at several field activities located around the world.



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April 13, 2005 3:23 PM