Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD


Developing a space vehicle is a complex and detailed process, and while CubeSats are smaller and more accessible than traditional satellites the design process is relatively unchanged. Creating a viable space vehicle design requires detailed analysis of a set of mission needs in order to define the mission, with this need set used to then create the specific mission requirements. These requirements are used to formulate a concept of operations, and then move into developing a physical system for executing the mission. The successful production of CubeSats within an organization is contingent upon the accurate execution of the general CubeSat Development Process. This research presents a tool to facilitate more complete, streamlined, and transferable products throughout the course of a general CubeSat Development Process. The reference architecture is capable of displaying both organizational and systems level architectures, both linked together and in support of consistent and repeatable structure to be given to users intending to produce a complete mission and system design. The architecture incorporates a suite of repositories to assist users in hardware integration and requirements traceability, including component, activity, and regulatory libraries; in addition to parametric diagrams to facilitate requirements verification and constraint analysis.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number