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
"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
"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 http://oss-institute.org.
Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command
(http://pao.cnmoc.navy.mil) is a third-echelon operational command
reporting to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (http://www.cffc.navy.mil/).
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.