Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John M. Colombi, PhD.


The Department of Defense‘s space acquisition enterprise has experienced numerous challenges since the advent of space power. Space borne capabilities are needed more than ever, but space acquisition frequently fails to meet its goals. The decades of space acquisition experience form a rich history that can be used to build a leading indicator of success to enable effective program execution. First, the space acquisition areas of greatest concern were determined to be cost, schedule and requirements. These areas are considered as systems composed of the people, processes and products that execute the program. Second, the vital interoperation characteristics, or attributes that each system must possess to be successful, can be extracted from past space acquisition lessons learned and placed into an interoperability maturity model. The maturity model can then be used to capture the relative maturity of the program‘s major systems and their ability to interoperate within the context of each critical characteristic. Third, the maturity model forms the basis for an interoperability measurement using the method developed by Dr. Thomas Ford, where higher levels of interoperability maturity will result in a higher interoperability score. The process is demonstrated with three recent space programs with interpretive analysis provided.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number