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SoS Engineering

SoS Engineering Mission Area

NCSOSE work in system of systems engineering has focused on defining a formal methodology for approaching SoS problems. Specific capabilities include:

  1. Applying the SoSE Methodology to SoS problems
  2. Framing SoS problem domains
  3. Designing unique methodologies for SoS problems
  4. Designing teams for SoSE problems
  5. Exploring and analyzing SoSE problems

We define a system of systems as a meta-system that has multiple functions provided by any number of sub-systems. SoS are normally:

  • Designed and acquired independently
  • Managed and funded independently
  • Geographically dispersed
  • Demonstrating emergent behavior
  • Exhibiting evolutionary development

A typical system of systems, or SoS, is depicted as follows:


We have found that as complexity has increased, the ability of technology to dominate the solution space is diminished. We lack capabilities to effectively address multidisciplinary problems emerging in the 21st century.


In order to engage high complexity systems problems the hard technological perspective must be expanded to include a soft perspective that accounts for human, political, organizational, managerial and policy elements associated with the complex systems problem.


NCSOSE approaches complex systems problems in a systemically. A high-level system of systems engineering (SoSE) methodology is the framework from which these problems are approached.