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Application of systems engineering to complex systems and system of systems




Sturdivant, Rick L., author
Chong, Edwin K. P., advisor
Sega, Ronald M., committee member
Jayasumana, Anura P., committee member
Atadero, Rebecca, committee member

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This dissertation is an investigation of system of systems (SoS). It begins with an analysis to define, with some rigor, the similarities and differences between complex systems and SoS. With this foundation, the baseline concept is development for several different types of systems and they are used as a practical approach to compare and contrast complex systems versus SoS. The method is to use a progression from simple to more complex systems. Specifically, a pico hydro electric power generation system, a hybrid renewable electric power generation system, a LEO satellites system, and Molniya orbit satellite system are investigated. In each of these examples, systems engineering methods are applied for the development of a baseline solution. While these examples are complex, they do not rise to the level of a SoS. In contrast, a multi-spectral drone detection system for protection of airports is investigated and a baseline concept for it is generated. The baseline is shown to meet the minimum requirements to be considered a SoS. The system combines multiple sensor types to distinguish drones as targets. The characteristics of the drone detection system which make it a SoS are discussed. Since emergence is considered by some to be a characteristic of a SoS, it is investigated. A solution to the problem of determining if system properties are emergent is presented and necessary and sufficient conditions for emergence are developed. Finally, this work concludes with a summary and suggestions for additional work.


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drone detection
system of systems
complex systems
systems engineering
pico hydro electric power


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