NASA Upgrades Communications To Prepare For New Hurricane Season - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
News
News
5/22/2006
04:05 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

NASA Upgrades Communications To Prepare For New Hurricane Season

The InsideNASA Intranet help employees at 11 facilities stay informed about office closures, evacuation procedures, and when it's safe to return to work, among other things.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stepped-up services offered through its crisis center Web site to communicate better with employees as the hurricane season begins on June 1.

The InsideNASA Intranet, built on Vignette's Next-Generation Web Presence platform, help employees at 11 U.S. facilities stay informed about office closures, evacuation procedures and when it's safe to return to work. Information on the site also will guide employees to make a "safe-arrival call" when they reach their destination.

About half of NASA's offices are located directly in the path that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita took last year, according to Jeanne Holm, chief knowledge architect at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released North Atlantic hurricane season prediction Monday. The agency estimates between 13 and 16 storms, of which between eight and 10 could become hurricanes. About four to six could turn into "major" Category 3 hurricanes in the 2006 season.

NASA's emergency operations site now has a national warnings page that monitors hurricanes and other natural disasters, integrating with more than 2,000 links. Data on wild fires, tornados, flash floods, tsunamis, earthquakes or other disasters that provide little warning, automatically feed into feed Web site.

There's also a real-time feed from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) helps monitor theorist threat advisories. The site has approximately 130 portlets, "a small window of content, such as an animated real-time weather map," Holm said. "We also have an announcement portlet that offers all the latest information at NASA submitted by employees."

Holm said Vignette's Web-connector portlet feature made the integration simple. It takes about three minutes to create a connection that allows outside information to stream into the site. Alerts monitor connections for interruption of service if the connects breaks or the connecting sites go down

A virtual private network (VPN) provides employees remote access from virtually any device with Internet connectivity, such as a Research In Motion (RIM) Blackberry or Palm Treo. NASA employees also can call a hotline to find gas or a hotel when there not able to log into the network, Holm said. "Just for my group, we budgeted about $300,000 for the project this year," she said. "It includes personnel, management training, operations, content and disaster support, and publishing and information architecture."

It doesn't include the Vignette software or servers on which it runs, which are budgeted though another manager reporting the office of the CIO.

NOAA scientists inaccurately predicted last year's hurricane season forecasts. There were 28 tropical storms. About 15 became hurricanes. NOAA had predicted between 12 and 15 tropical storms, and estimated that seven to nine would become hurricanes.

Four major hurricanes hit the United States, including Katrina, which killed 1,300 people and caused $80 billion in damage. While Rita hit Louisiana and Texas, Wilma briefly turned into the strongest Atlantic hurricane on recorded.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll