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Project Quicklook Background



The Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded research and development center, would like to determine if their customers, National Security Space programs, should begin using the OMG Systems Modeling Language (OMG SysML™) and where it is, or is not, appropriate. In order to meet this challenge, Aerospace has approached the George Mason University’s (GMU) Systems Engineering & Operations Research (SEOR) department for assistance. By utilizing GMU’s SEOR Master’s Degree capstone course, Aerospace can gain a wealth of knowledge in a short period, while providing a meaningful capstone project for SEOR students. In addition, the SEOR department can benefit by determining if SysML is mature enough to include in the Systems Engineering curriculum.


Problem Description
Many of Aerospace’s customers in National Security Space (NSS) need help with architecture and modeling of both current and future systems. These customers often have a difficult time relating and analyzing system of systems due to currently available methodologies and tools. The Aerospace Corporation requested that TSS evaluate a modeling language that Aerospace plans on using for future work for its customers. The language, Systems Modeling Language (SysML), is a new and emerging modeling language, which is a subset of Unified Modeling Language (UML). The TSS team was assigned the task of exploring the capabilities and limitations of SysML, and to make a professional recommendation at the end of the semester, regarding the usability, efficiency, and effectiveness of this modeling language in regard to potential future uses of SysML.
With the problem clearly defined, the TSS team selected the Tactical Satellite 3 (TacSat-3) and used the design process as a vehicle to explore the effectiveness of SysML. The TSS team was also required to document the lessons learned throughout the project and record their training and engineering hours while designing the TacSat-3 system. That information was then to be used in order to assess the learning curve involved with learning and using SysML.


Tactical Science Solutions (TSS) has developed a design scenario, called Quicklook, which is robust enough to answer the questions posed by Aerospace. The Quicklook project team will develop a SysML based architectural design and model for the operational phase of the Tactical Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) vehicle.

United States government and military satellite systems have traditionally been very large, expensive, and long-term projects. The need to adapt to the changing world environment has led policy makers to rethink this methodology. In 2005, the President’s National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD-40 established the Responsive Space Initiative. This initiative called for more agility in the military space arena by providing smaller, less expensive, and more flexible systems. The Tactical Satellite Program is one of the programs striving to reach the goals of the Responsive Space Initiative. (TacSat-3) will be the next iteration of the Tactical Satellite Program. TacSat-3 is a low cost, small, rapidly deployable satellite system that will provide responsive intelligence support to tactical and operational military commanders.

Problem Description
The TSS Quicklook team will support the TacSat-3 development by providing a design for the operational phase that maximizes the following system objectives:
• Responsive delivery of hyperspectral imagery to the Warfighter
• Low cost
• Hardware modularity and re-use
• Rapid deployment


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