AFMC Engineering releases update to Modular Open Systems guidebook

  • Published
  • By Zion Dillahunt
  • Air Force Materiel Command

The Air Force Materiel Command Systems Engineering Directorate launched version 2.0 of the “Guidebook for Implementing Modular Open Systems Approach in Weapon Systems,” Nov.7.

“This guidebook is the first guidance document developed in the Department of the Air Force that gives details on what concrete steps can be taken to design a successful MOSA strategy,” said Robert Bond, Avionics Engineer.

MOSA is a technical and business strategy for program officers to use when designing affordable and adaptable systems. Simply put, various suppliers collaborate on systems, subsystems, and software components and utilize common standards when designing products used throughout the Department of Defense.

Through collaboration, MOSA eliminates single vendor lock, which is the dependence on one provider for a specific service. In the past, this issue has effected developments as it has significantly increased maintenance and decreased efficiency and cohesion amongst systems.

The development and implementation of MOSA is a direct result of Department of Defense guidance, as it creates flexibility of capabilities, financial efficiency, technological improvement and fosters a competitive advantage over our adversaries.

This guidebook offers Air and Space Force Offices needs-based, step-by-step standardized procedures to create successful weapons system programs utilizing MOSA.

Throughout version 2.0, there are many changes compared to its predecessor, such as clarification of common language and definitions, instructions to document information to a secured location and an explanation to program officers on how to break down systems.

“While certain subsystems may be commercial off-the-shelf products that the government can procure cheaply and effectively with limited data rights,” said Bond. “We need our program offices to decompose their architecture and think hard about which key interfaces to identify, and what products they want to make open. From there, we can combine open architecture standards and commercial off-the-shelf items to get the right balance of data rights to sustain and upgrade our systems.”

The guidebook was shared with the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Modular Open Systems Working Group office, who deemed the guidebook as most suitable for users.

The full guidebook can be found here AFMC-Guidebook-for-Implementing-MOSA-in-Weapon-Systems_V2.0_Distro_A.pdf (