TCAT product receives Army Certificate of Networthiness

May 10, 2011
| By: Aubrey Bloom

May 10, 2011 - A research team from the TEES Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) has been awarded a U.S. Army Certificate of Networthiness (CoN) for the team's Universal Audit Tool (UAT).

The tool is a cross-platform desktop software application that allows Fort Hood's Central Technical Support Facility's Configuration Management Department to unobtrusively gather state information on a particular computer and then compare that to an existing baseline. This state information is used to validate that a computer is authorized to participate in official army software certification and integration testing.

The Universal Audit Tool will replace the CTSF developed Interrogator tool which has been in use since 1999. Deputy director of the CTSF Configuration Management Department and the application's primary user Langston Carter said, "This software will improve our process greatly and will benefit the CTSF as well as the entire army."

The Army Networthiness (NW) program was created out of an Army need to address compliance and mitigate risks. The program aims to determine whether an application or system is worthy to go on the Army's Enterprise network. With the CoN, the UAT software can be loaded and used on any army computer.

Located at Fort Hood, Texas, the Central Technical Support Facility (CTSF) is the U.S. Army's strategic and central testing facility responsible for interoperability engineering, executing army interoperability Certification (AIC) testing, maintaining configuration control for all operational through tactical-level information technology and national security systems, and supporting the digital needs of deployed warfighters.

The Universal Audit Tool was fielded to the CTSF in September 2010 and was the culmination of a two-year software development effort. The first year's effort resulted in the identification of a set of unique metrics that could be used to determine what software is present on a computer. Year two resulted in the development and fielding of the UAT software application.

An eight year TCAT employee and project technical lead during both years of the project, Deepa Narayanan said, "The UAT software provides the CTSF the means to easily build new baselines and extend existing baselines. This application provides the flexibility to support CTSF needs for years to come."

Larkin O'Hern, Texas A&M Class of 1980 and a retired army officer, was the TCAT project manager. "I really like how this project came together to support a real requirement in the army. The end product is the result of an outstanding development team working in close cooperation with army sponsors," he said.

The Universal Audit Tool is the second application produced by the Texas Center for Applied Technology to successfully undergo the rigorous Army Certificate of Networthiness process. In November 2009, the Process Oriented Data Visualization (ProDV) tool received a CoN. The ProDV application provides interactive visual analysis capabilities to both analysts and data collectors by combining data transformation, processing, and visualization capabilities within an easy-to-use visual programming environment. This allows analysts to both detect the expected and discover the unexpected in extremely large and diverse collections of data. ProDV is currently being used by the United States Army, Operational Test Command.

The Texas Center for Applied Technology was formed in September 1994 and has done significant software development work in support of Army and Department of Defense programs. TCAT is part of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), a member of The Texas A&M University System.

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