The Interoperability Testbed is a virtual interconnection of computers and infrastructure to support testing and exploration of interoperability solutions. In support of the Integrated CBRNE Detection Demonstration Program, the Testbed enables users from different backgrounds to come together, explore potential solutions, share, and discuss organization insight across organizational and jurisdictional boundaries to enhance the development of the information framework, and assist in the development of suitable standards. ICBRNE is a continuing program that will encompass multiple exercises. The Testbed community will be sustained to provide a continuing opportunity to collaborate and maintain the Emergency Data Exchange & Interoperability dialog.

The goal of the Interoperability Testbed is to provide 7/24 connectivity and infrastructure to enable government agencies and their partners to explore, collaborate, and test CBRNE information interoperability and assist in the development practical processes. A specific goal is to enable exploration and vetting of an information sharing concept of operations for federated situational awareness and management of a CBRNE event. The focus is on widespread education and facilitation of interoperability efforts through the use of existing standards, tools, and architectures to allow all participants to improve interoperability without requiring new, proprietary, or costly additions to existing infrastructure.

The Testbed is not intended to promote any specific vendor tool or capability, nor is it intended to "test" individual tools or capabilities. The focus is on the interconnections between tools and capabilities. From an interoperability perspective, members of multi-jurisdictional government agencies and organizations should be able to use their own chosen tools, vendors, and information standard formats to share CBRNE information easily and rapidly and collaborate for effective event prevention, detection, and response.

Testbed users can choose to utilize provided VPN client software with a VPN account supplied by Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). When setting up the VPN account, a user can request split tunneling or no split-tunneling. The split tunneling option allows the user to see both the interoperability Testbed and the outside world simultaneously. The split tunneling is the better option if the organization allows such interconnection. Another option is to access the Testbed connectivity externally, without using the VPN. This is less secure but provides a mechanism for those on the outside world to see and use some Testbed capabilities. The range of options for connectivity is designed to provide the most flexibility and encourage the broadest practical user base.

The Testbed approach also is to enable interoperability by providing a set of infrastructure capabilities, including a CBRN detection repository with a RESTful interface including translators to convert from one standard format into another. Other forms of infrastructure are also envisioned to enable users to obtain access to information in their desired formats to explore interoperability easily and effectively.




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