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Systems Engineering Handbook

NASA-SP-6105-Rev1 Systems Engineering Handbook

Since the writing of NASA/SP—6105 in 1995, systems
engineering at the National Aeronautics and Space Ad-
ministration (NASA), within national and international
standard bodies, and as a discipline has undergone rapid
evolution. Changes include implementing standards
in the International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) 9000, the use of Carnegie Mellon Software Engi—
neering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model® Integra-
tion (CMMI®) to improve development and delivery of
products, and the impacts of mission failures. Lessons
learned on systems engineering were documented in re—
ports such as those by the NASA Integrated Action Team
(NIAT), the Columbia Accident Investigation Board
(CAIB), and the follow-on Diaz Report. Out of these
efforts came the NASA Oflice of the Chief Engineer
(OCE) initiative to improve the overall Agency systems
engineering infrastructure and capability for the efficient
and effective engineering of NASA systems, to produce
quality products, and to achieve mission success. In ad-
dition, Agency policy and requirements for systems en-
gineering have been established. This handbook update
is a part of the OCE-sponsored Agencywide systems en-
gineering initiative.

In 1995, SP-6105 was initially published to bring the
fundamental concepts and techniques of systems engi-
neering to NASA personnel in a way that recognizes the
nature of NASA systems and the NASA environment.
This revision of SP-6105 maintains that original philos-
ophy while updating the Agency’s systems engineering
body of knowledge, providing guidance for insight into
current best Agency practices, and aligning the hand—
book with the new Agency systems engineering policy.

The update of this handbook was twofold: a top-down
compatibility with higher level Agency policy and a
bottom—up infusion of guidance from the NASA prac—
titioners in the field. The approach provided the oppor-
tunity to obtain best practices from across NASA and
bridge the information to the established NASA sys—
tems engineering process. The attempt is to commu-
nicate principles of good practice as well as alternative
approaches rather than specify a particular way to ac—
complish a task. The result embodied in this handbook is
a top-level implementation approach on the practice of
systems engineering unique to NASA. The material for
updating this handbook was drawn from many different
sources, including NASA procedural requirements, field
center systems engineering handbooks and processes, as
well as non-NASA systems engineering textbooks and

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