Home >> Research Programs >> Energy and Environment >> Environmental Resource Management >> Systems Engineering

Mission Definition

Mission Definition consists of those actions taken to define the mission for a system and the environment that affects its execution. The mission statement must define the existing condition that justifies the program or project need, the desired end state or product(s), and the performance expectation. In short, the resulting mission statement defines, in broad terms, what the program or project expects to accomplish. It is typically the first highly reviewed and broadly distributed description of the envisioned system and its desired outcome(s). Consequently, it is used to build agreement between different elements of the customer set and to provide alignment between program members and elements. To this end, Mission Definition serves the following purposes:

  • Problem Definition - General and specific conditions to be changed:
    • The problem to be solved
    • The needs to be filled in solving it
    • What constitutes an acceptable solution
    • The priorities for development
  • Resolution Definition - General statement of the highest expectations proposed to be obtained (i.e. goals defined in terms of specific attributes that the final product or condition must have) and the parameters that determine the value of the attribute.
  • Requirements Definition - External sources and their associated requirements imposed on the system, including user and regulatory requirements and identification and definition of all external systems with which the system must interface to accomplish the mission.
  • Resource Definition - The resources available for use, their origin, and any restrictions that may be imposed on them including cost and time allocated to the development, operation, or disposal of the system.
  • Mission Statement - A statement of what must be done to resolve the problem. This will form the basis of the functional decomposition, definition, and analysis of the system to be provided.
  • Measures of Effectiveness - MOE's and their associated success criteria.
  • Boundary Conditions - What is considered part of the system, what is outside the system, and the associated interfaces.

Function Analysis

Functional Analysis is the activity of defining the generic system functionality in preparation for tradeoff studies. Functional analysis activities are typically performed by a team of system management, system subject-matter-experts, and system engineers. The following Functional Analysis activities apply:

  • Decompose system requirements into generic system functions.
  • Analyze functions for completeness and add functionality where necessary.
  • Allocate system requirements and their compliance measures to corresponding functions or sub-functions.
  • Accommodate system modes (i.e., start-up, operations, emergency, shut down -or- low energy, medium energy, high energy).
  • Transform system functions into a system functional architecture.
  • Add resulting information to the existing requirements data and document it all in an initial System Description Document (SDD).

Contact Information:
  • Bob Caliva, Defense and Energy Systems
    (208) 526-4653 robert.caliva@inl.gov
  • John Collins, Nuclear and Environmental Systems
    (208) 526-3372 john.collins@inl.gov
Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office
Battelle