Application Domains

Space Systems

Space Systems Working Group

Expanding Systems Engineering applications in Space Systems

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Working Group Purpose & Mission


The purpose of the Space Systems Working Group (SSWG) is to expand the body of knowledge of systems engineering as it is applied to space systems. Specifically, the purpose of the SSWG is to:
  • Promote the use of systems engineering principles, techniques, and practices in government, academic, and private industry organizations which are identified with space applications
  • Provide a forum in the professional networking of INCOSE that is pertinent to professionals in the space systems community
  • Support the INCOSE Model Based System Engineering (MBSE) Initiative by developing an MBSE Systems Modeling Language (SysML) Reference Model of a CubeSat
Rendered using Blender 2.72, post in Photoshop,  Kevin Gill from Nashua, NH, United States,  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0




David Kaslow

Alejandro Levi


The SSWG explores the application of systems engineering to space systems in government, industry, and academia.


An overarching goal for the SSWG is to increase the quality and scope of the technical and professional information available to its members and to enhance the interchange of that information between its members. A specific goal for the SSWG is to develop a CubeSat Reference Model that is distributed to and adapted by CubeSat projects and that covers an entire CubeSat project life cycle from concept to retirement.


The SSWG supports the discussion and dissemination of information between its members. The tempo and topics of contribution are determined by the level of participation by the community and availability of contributed content. A specific product provided by the SSWG is the MBSE SysML CubeSat System Reference Model. 

IW23: International Workshop Focus

The Space Systems Working Group is reaching out to the space systems engineering community to discuss and select the next areas of focus areas for the working group. 

  • Key concerns and needs in the industry
  • Working Group support for improved industry interaction
  • Potential INCOSE Technical Products

IW23 Outcomes

Focused mainly on recent progress and near-term plans on Cubesat System Reference Model (CSRM)

  • Expecting OMG posting by Summer 2023
  • Discussed availability and updates for CSRM samples (ex. Cameo)
  • Recommended to pursue support model similar to Open Source software and tools
  • Some specific questions asked:
    • How can I get a copy of CSRM?
    • Is there a Ground System Reference Model?
    • Can artifacts be stored in/aligned with CSRM?
    • Who has used CSRM and/or developed system models from CSRM?
    • What are lessons learned from previous users?
    • Does CSRM apply to Small Satellites? Larger Satellites?
  • Will add FAQs to SSWG webpage

Other discussions at SSWG Session:

  • Looking for other areas of interest to Space Systems, Systems Engineers
  • One potential project area is for Space Mission Engineering models and guides
  • Another potential project area is for reference models for other elements of space systems, ex. Ground System (above)

Future SSWG Communications and Meetings:

  • Main channel for information is expected to be Yammer
    • Make sure to "Like" (click the heart). More likely to get updates to your email.
  • Would like to share information on upcoming conferences, workshops and seminars
    • Please post to Yammer. Will add to a section of the SSWG webpage
  • Would like to have technical sessions to review recent research and development
    • Please suggest via Yammer.
  • Have not scheduled any general SSWG meetings yet
    • CSRM-OMG team meets weekly
  • Please submit suggestions for Work Products that INCOSE could develop through the SSWG

Thank you for participating at IW23!

CSRM Papers and Presentations

SSWG - IW discussion invitation:

Hello Space Systems Working Group! We are 2 days from our meeting at the INCOSE International Workshop. In order to get a head-start and to invite participation from folks that cannot attend the session live, we are reaching out via Yammer.

Working groups generally contribute to INCOSE in three ways:

  • Products and Services that are helpful to the community
    • Examples include primers, guidebooks, manuals, or contributions to industry standards
  • Sharing research progress of interest to the community
    • Examples include technical interchange meetings, creating and posting videos, hosting space related sessions at INCOSE International Symposium or at Regional Conferences.
  • Sharing industry and association activities and information
    • Example includes creating and maintaining a page of links to space systems related organizations and activities including technical presentations, workshops and conferences.

The SSWG has been very focused on the Cubesat System Reference Model (CSRM) product over the past years and is very close to the goal of publishing an OMG Specification for CSRM! Being so close to this goal, we are looking around for the next opportunities to contribute.

A couple of ideas that have been discussed include:

  • Developing a model for space systems Mission Engineering activities and artifacts. Two papers were presented to conferences in 2021 with work and progress so far. These are available at the Yammer>SSWG>Files location and linked here:
  • The Competency Working Group is looking for some groups to help develop Domain Specific Competency Frameworks. This would tailor the general framework toward systems engineering competencies beneficial specifically to the space systems.
  • Recommend content that could be posted or linked to the Professional Development Portal (PDP).

Please take a few minutes to contribute needs or ideas for any of the areas noted above or an area that could be valuable to this community. Feel free to drop ideas into this chat. We will build a worksheet in Yammer that is available to all working group members (i.e. everyone that received this message!).

For those that can attend, in-person or as a conference virtual attendee, we will see you Saturday! For those that can't, please contribute and stay tuned for the notes and next steps for the Space Systems Working Group!

Thank you!

Planned Activities

  • Continue work of CubeSat System Reference Model
  • Host recurring industry discussions
  • Determine the value of additional INCOSE Technical Products for the industry

Planned Work Products

  • Continue work of CubeSat System Reference Model including exploring Mission Engineering


Yammer is INCOSE's social media platform for members. Use your INCOSE-issued Microsoft credential to login and join the conversation. INCOSE credentials are in the form of or