Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John M. Colombi, PhD.


Senior leadership of the Air Force's Space and Missile Center suggested an investigation of systems integration within the space acquisition community in the fall of 2008. This thesis performs that investigation. A review concluded that while Systems Integration (SI) is extensively discussed as an area deserving considerable attention in the Systems Engineering literature, definitions are weak and methods and tools non-existent. Known SI activities are not being traced and assessed for adequacy throughout system development. Employing the Space System Acquisition Lifecycle Framework as the environment for this research, a method of characterizing and tracing SI throughout a program‘s lifecycle by using technical reviews and audits (TR&A) is proposed. Subsequent to a SI trace of an acquisition program, an assessment can be performed to determine the adequacy of the integration of Systems Engineering (SE) tasks. Using this assessment, prudent adjustments to program resources (e.g., SE, finance, research and development, program management, etc.) can be considered that will mitigate or resolve program deficiencies caused by insufficient SI. The proposed method is demonstrated across technical reviews and audits of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) program. The results of this thesis should accentuate the value of SI during space system acquisition – a key consideration which is rarely recognized.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-authored thesis.