OMG & INCOSE Partner to Advance Standards for CubeSats

Mar 12, 2018, 17:53 PM by Christine Kowalski
The Object Management Group® (OMG®) and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to develop and distribute the INCOSE CubeSat Reference Model (CRM) to advance standards for CubeSats.

Object Management Group and International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Partner to Advance Standards for CubeSats

INCOSE CubeSat Reference Model to be Submitted for OMG Standardization

Needham, MA and San Diego — March 12, 2018 — The Object Management Group® (OMG®), an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the largest organization in the world dedicated to systems engineering. The MOU between OMG and INCOSE formalizes the working relationship between the two parties as they develop and distribute the INCOSE CubeSat Reference Model (CRM) to advance standards for CubeSats.

A 1U CubeSat is 10x10x10 centimeters with a mass of about 1.3 kilograms. CubeSat units can be joined to form a larger satellite such as 2U, 3U and 6U. Their small payload makes standalone launch cost-prohibitive but allows CubeSats to join launches from other organizations at a significantly reduced cost. The Nanosatellite and CubeSat Database reports that CubeSat launches tripled from 2016 to 2017 to nearly 300 launches. The number of CubeSats and the number of organizations developing CubeSats have increased dramatically. However, there is no common reference model to design a CubeSat, thereby limiting interoperability, slowing development times and forcing constant research to remain current on the latest innovations.

The CRM provides the logical architecture of a CubeSat space and ground system. The CRM logical components are intended to be used as a starting point for a mission-specific CubeSat logical architecture, followed by the physical architecture and the CubeSat development. The CRM is also sufficiently flexible to accommodate different logical architectures. 

William Hoffman, president and COO of OMG and Garry Roedler, president of INCOSE, signed the MOU. Under the terms, the INCOSE CRM will go through the OMG standardization process. In addition, OMG will issue a request for proposals regarding the CubeSat Reference Model. OMG CRM status, progress and deadlines can be found at

“Both OMG and INCOSE share a mutual commitment to support and accelerate knowledge growth in the systems engineering arena,” said Hoffman. “Developed by INCOSE using the OMG Systems Modeling Language™ (SysML®), the CRM is already in a model form, providing a fill-in-the-package framework and identifies subsystems to consider and other agencies to coordinate prior to launch. Space-mission-procuring organizations will use the CRM to capture mission requirements in a standard format that is readily accessible and understandable by vendors and developers.” 

“Today’s announcement reinforces our joint cooperation with OMG to deliver a CubeSat Reference Model that applies a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) method and will be reusable and extensible to a variety of specific space missions and payloads,” said Roedler.

Learn more about CRM through INCOSE’s Space Systems Working Group or join OMG to influence the CRM and other related technology standards like SysML.

About the International Council on Systems Engineering

The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization that promotes international collaboration in systems engineering practice, education and research. INCOSE’s mission is to “address complex societal and technical challenges by enabling, promoting and advancing systems engineering and systems approaches.” Founded in 1990, INCOSE has more than 70 chapters and over 16,500 members worldwide. For additional information about INCOSE, call 1-858-541-1752 or visit Become a member today.

About OMG

The Object Management Group (OMG) is an international, open membership, not-for-profit computer industry standards consortium with representation from government, industry and academia. OMG Task Forces develop enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and an even wider range of industries. OMG modeling standards enable powerful visual design, execution and maintenance of software and other processes. Visit for more information.


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