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Programs

Global Information Grid Information Assurance Portfolio

The role of the Global Information Grid (GIG) Information Assurance (IA) Portfolio program is to recommend a balanced portfolio of IA investments to the Office of the Secretary of Defense that achieves the IA component of the GIG Architecture and maximizes operational benefits. APL developed a methodology and performed analysis to ensure that IA recommendations are based on quantitative data, derived using a systematic, repeatable process. APL's approach combines novel IA metrics with well-understood Multi-Objective Decision Analysis techniques to enable assessment of current IA posture, identification of persistent and critical capability gaps, and evaluation of individual investment effectiveness.

Wideband Global SATCOM

In April 2008, the first Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite was activated for DoD and government use, having been launched 6 months earlier. The WGS represents a significant power and bandwidth improvement over the previous generation of military SATCOM (the Defense Satellite Communications System, or DSCS). Through the Objective DSCS Operations Control System task, APL performs systems engineering for the system-of-systems that will perform WGS network planning, spectrum monitoring, information management, and payload control. APL has played an integral role in the wideband community's transition from DSCS to the WGS satellite system.

Net-Centric Analysis

APL led the technical team for the Presidential Decision Memorandum III Tactical Networking for Ground Forces Study under the direction of the Department of the Army and the DoD Director for Programs Analysis and Evaluation. The study team determined ways to improve operational capabilities to the force, such as inserting technologies, extending the network, and integrating the network architecture; assessed joint tactical network capabilities, technologies, architecture, and associated modernization plans and programs; and synchronized modernization plans and programs to optimize network investments in ground, airborne, and satellite communication assets.

GIG Implementation

APL leads deployment of a major portion of the GIG at the DoD Teleports. The Teleports provides a critical link between deployed forces using SATCOM and the terrestrial fiber backbone. Numerous technical challenges must be overcome to ensure that military communicators have seamless operations across these varied networks. In its role as a trusted agent, APL has sent staff to several continents to oversee the installation, integration, and operational testing of various proprietary network systems necessary for this vital connectivity to the tactical edge.

Nuclear Command and Control Communication Systems

The U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center tasked APL to conduct a comprehensive performance study of the Air Force's Nuclear Command and Control (NC2) communication systems. The study focused on survivable and endurable communications capabilities supporting critical NC2 Force Direction activities related to the preparation, dissemination, and authentication of decisions regarding the execution, termination, destruction, and disablement of nuclear weapons. In 2007, the Navy broadened the scope of the study to include Navy NC2 communications systems. APL assessed current and proposed NC2 system performance, performed a gap analysis using measured data and modeling and simulation, identified system deficiencies, and recommended potential system improvements.

Information Sharing: Identity Management

A fundamental challenge that must be addressed before organizations across the government and private sector can share information at the scale envisioned in the national information-sharing strategy is the exchange of network identity information among users and services in different organizations. APL is assisting the Department of Homeland Security to address this challenge by establishing a testbed that will be used to evaluate standards, architectures, and products. The focus is on identity management research requirements and architectural approaches in the medium to long term.

Aviation Safety

For more than a decade, APL has supported the development of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), the next-generation airborne surveillance and cockpit avionics technology. APL participated in development of the system specifications, performed modeling and analysis of Air Traffic Control safe separation between aircraft with ADS-B, validated ADS-B system requirements, developed requirements for legacy FAA automation systems integration with ADS-B, served on international standards committees, and created the performance monitor for the national ADS-B system. As a result, APL is part of a 26-organization team that received the 2007 Collier Trophy, awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year."

Scalable Network Monitoring

The APL focus for the Scalable Network Monitoring (SNM) program is the IA testing of performers’ gateway malicious activity detection devices. APL’s role includes the design, development, and operation of the test environment, including the capability to generate a sufficient volume of both benign and malicious activity to maintain full-line speed at the network gateway. Phase I of the program requires the system under test to achieve a 99% probability of detection of malicious activity at 1 Gbps. During Phase II, the full-line speed at which the gateway must be defended is 100 Gbps. Additionally, the SNM program seeks to quantitatively demonstrate a very limited false-alarm rate of not more than one per day. APL network engineers and IA analysts working on the SNM program built a test network environment simulating a secure DoD network gateway and also designed test procedures, interface requirements, program metrics, and a corpus of malicious activity for use within the test environment. Through execution of a series of test scenarios, scoring of those results, and analysis of the performance of the systems under test, APL will enable the SNM program to provide innovative network defense capabilities for the nation.

SNM Metrics