This is just an Excerpt from a larger document, click here to view the entire document.Implications of a System of Systems Approach
Defining capabilities. Developing requirements for a radio, radar, turbofan engine, aircraft, or tank is a complex and iterative process. Ideally, the design requirements are derived from the user's field performance needs, which in turn were derived from a threat or functional analysis.
For a system of systems, an added level of complexity is involved with developing requirements. The requirements must begin with the required or desired capability. The capability requirements begin with a threat or similar needs analysis. When the capability requirements have been defined, requirements can be allocated to the functional elements of the system of systems. These elements may be existing or planned systems. Or they may be new, undefined systems yet to be acquired. The functional element requirements are used to develop requirements for the individual systems, which in turn serve as the basis for deriving lower-level requirements.
Given the complexity of developing and allocating requirements for systems of systems, modeling and simulation will become increasingly important tools.
Acquiring capabilities. Defense Acquisition Reform, like many predecessor reform initiatives, addresses in part the reduction of time and costs associated with acquiring a new military system. Acquiring a capability will be an even more difficult process. New policies and management approaches will no doubt be needed to make this process tenable.
Analyzing systems of systems. Whether it be analyzing requirements, alternative architectures, or the performance of a system of systems, more sophisticated methods will be essential. The foundation for these methods now appears to be simulation and modeling.
Testing systems of systems. Testing an entire capability may not be possible prior to deployment. Consequently, system and lower-level testing becomes even more critical.