01Identify the Requirements and Constraints
Crucial details are collected and evaluated, issues are researched, and confirmed to ensure that the understanding of the requirements and the approach to achieving the stated objectives coincide with those of the client and end-user. The results are encapsulated in an all-inclusive requirements document.
Strategic and Preliminary Planning.
The strategic and preliminary planning session is a multi-disciplined technical design review to ensure that the system under review can proceed to the Enterprise Architecture Design stage and can meet the stated performance requirements within cost, schedule, risk, and other system constraints. Generally, this design review assesses the system preliminary design as captured in performance specifications for each configuration item in the system, and ensures that each function in the functional baseline has been allocated to one or more system configuration items.
For complex systems, DasNet’s Team may conduct strategic planning for each subsystem as support for the overall system requirements definition. When individual design reviews have been conducted, the emphasis of the overall system design review will focus on configuration item functional and physical interface design, as well as overall system design requirements. The technical design review determines whether the hardware, human, and software preliminary designs are complete, and whether the client is prepared to start Evaluation of Alternative Technical Approaches and Modeling and Simulation. The review evaluates the set of subsystem requirements to determine whether they correctly and completely implement all system requirements allocated to the subsystem. The design review also determines whether subsystem requirements trace with the system design. At this review, DasNet should review the results of peer reviews of requirements and preliminary design documentation. A successful design review is predicated on the DasNet Team's determination that the subsystem requirements, subsystem preliminary design, results of peer reviews, and plans for development and testing form a satisfactory basis for proceeding into detailed design and test procedure development. DasNet will tailor the review to the technical scope and risk of the system, and address the overall system review in the Systems Design Plan.
DasNet will conduct the overall system review when all major design issues identified during strategic and preliminary planning sessions have been resolved and work can begin on the enterprise architecture design, which will address and resolve critical, system-wide issues.
Requirements Definition and Analysis.
DasNet will apply routinely used process methods and technology to what is frequently the weakest element of most system acquisitions – the requirements definition. This is outlined in Step 1 of our system engineering process, Identify the Requirements and Constraints. DasNet and its team members understand the evolution of satellite technology and will assist clients with developing acquisition milestone requirements that are streamlined and focused on understanding, abating, and managing risk by leveraging advances in technology. DasNet’s approach employs modeling and simulation engineering, as described, with the objective of managing risk, quality, requirements volatility, and client expectations to develop a customer-focused system. DasNet understands that the objective of performance based streamlined acquisition is the development of a system that meets the clients needs, without imposing prescriptive, “how to” requirements and specifications on the development contractors.
DasNet understands cost, schedule and performance; and has the experience and ability to provide proficient support to its clients across the entire acquisition timeline and in all functional areas. DasNet understands that program management documents serve as the basis for forming plans and making decisions on acquisition, development and support operations. As such, these documents must be comprehensive, timely, and accurate. Our approach to preparing, updating, and reviewing program management documentation applies a thorough and consistent methodology: peer reviews; and automated tools to ensure on-time delivery of fully compliant, comprehensive, quality program management and engineering documents from Site Survey Reports to As-Built Documents. DasNet is regarded as a source of satellite expertise. We host and participate in discussion forums on the evolutions of satellite technology and supporting platforms. By providing detailed document comments on reviews such as the concept of satellite operations, the DasNet Team can ensure that the client’s requirements are integrated into the next-generation systems.
DasNet has demonstrated success on both sides of the acquisition fence. Our team has successfully designed, developed, integrated, deployed, and logistically supported various types of communications solutions. DasNet also has provided award winning PM and engineering support across the entire product lifecycle for equipment systems offered in locations around the world. DasNet has the expertise, resources, reputation, drive and approach to providing the best possible products and services possible for today’s technically demanding clients.
DasNet will verify the client’s desires and present logical, constrained possibilities prior to the development of realistic, achievable alternatives.
Abstract or Concept Studies and Analysis.
DasNet conducts abstract or conceptual studies covering operational capabilities, functional, and performance requirements, design alternatives and their related installation, integration, testing, and support processes. Trade studies are made at the appropriate level of detail to support decision making and lead to a proper balance between system performance and cost. Requirements come from many sources and unfortunately can at times conflict with each other. In such instances, trade studies are used for conflict resolution.
Modeling and Simulation.
Many of DasNet’s clients increasingly rely on network centric operations and on individually-complex systems linked together in Enterprise Architecture Designs, increasing the dependency on seamless interoperability. Interoperability is needed between telecommunication systems and requires effective performance by each individual system. DasNet’s systems engineering process exploit modeling and simulation to rapidly field improved capabilities with sufficient confidence that the fielded capabilities will perform effectively in an integrated system, hybrid or mesh configured network to support independent or joint mission environments.
Modeling and simulation is an integrated element of our systems engineering process. Modeling and simulation can represent the client’s enterprise architecture design as a context for systems engineering to properly design, develop, and test individual systems. The cost and complexity of modern communication systems preclude the development of full-scale prototypes to merely provide proof of concept. Similarly, the cost of testing events limits the number of tests that can be practically conducted. Modeling and simulation supports the systems engineering decision process by supporting systems design, trade studies, financial analysis, sustainment, and performance assessments.
Each project undertaken should be analyzed to determine the possible risks that may be encountered if the end objective is successful execution. DasNet proposes the same effective Risk Management process it has successfully used on numerous projects. Our Risk Management process provides the mechanism for assessing, documenting, monitoring, tracking, communicating, mitigating and responding to the risks that are associated with a project. This process ensures that events that may cause negative impacts to project cost, schedule, quality, or technical success, are identified and appropriate steps are taken to avoid or reduce project impact. We will perform risk assessment, including risk identification, analysis, and prioritization, as an integral part of project planning. Risk factors to be considered during project planning will include risks associated with the acquisition process, including requirements quality, technical achievability, funding adequacy, and potential organizational issues; and risks associated with project resources, including availability and adequacy of personnel, satellites, equipment, facilities, information, documentation, schedule, technology, and management reserves.
03Synthesis and Alternatives
During this step in our engineering process, DasNet engineers perform a risk assessment of the client’s stated requirements and the currently proposed solution; analyze and research alternatives. We will strategically outline a set of solutions for the client and discuss how each solution can fit within their overall strategy.
Cost/Cost-Performance Trade-Off Analysis.
DasNet is able to assist its clients with various methods of performing Cost vs. Performance Trade-Off Analysis. As outlined above, in the Design & Engineering overview, this is in-comparison to the Step 3 of the systems engineering process we utilize, Synthesis and Alternatives. This analysis consists of developing alternatives, performing risk assessments, analyzing the alternatives, and researching trade study results to provide the satellite products and solutions offered.
The Evaluation of Alternative Technical Approaches.
DasNet will analyze the alternative solutions upon development of those alternatives, performance of a risk assessment, and review of trade study results, during the Synthesis and Alternatives step in our engineering process. The evaluation of alternatives process plays a key role in development of the System Design Plan (SDP) by contributing to the refinement of the initial concept and the identification of critical associated technologies, based on a balanced assessment of technology maturity and risk, and cost, performance, and schedule considerations. The alternatives process must be balanced between focusing on the Requirements and Constraints and ensuring that the Cost and Performance considers novel and imaginative alternatives. To assure this balance is met, DasNet will conduct a compliant peer review using its proven peer review process. The DasNet peer review process ensures appropriate reviewers are selected by a trained peer review leader and that these reviewers have both the subject matter expertise and appropriate experience and training in performing peer reviews. The peer review process requires reviewers to review the results of the alternatives selected individually in advance of attending a formal meeting. The peer review leader will collect appropriate measurements on the process itself and will capture, categorize, and consolidate comments on the evaluation of alternatives document for delivery to the client. Evaluation comments will be consolidated into a single document, which identifies the location of each comment in the plan, the comment itself, a rationale for the comment, and the category into which the comment falls (clarity, completeness, correctness, consistency, conformance, or construction). An overall disposition of the team consensus on the document (e.g., acceptable with comments addressed, rework and re-review) will be provided as part of the feedback.
04Evaluation and Decision
Upon completion of the site survey reports, budget analyses, system drawings, and cost studies; DasNet will present a base solution to the client. The supporting documentation package will be complete, thorough, and concise so that a clear evaluation and decision can be made by the client, regardless of his/her level of expertise with the technological solutions proposed. DasNet will be in a position to support either the base or alternative provided solution that is approved for implementation.
When requirements have been identified, the functional analysis completed, and alternatives identified, a solution can be selected which will best meet stated requirements based on organization constraints including cost, schedule, and performance. The results of any prototype testing will also be included in this decision process. DasNet has supported the engineering efforts of clients around the world in an attempt to meet military equipment accounting standards including software/hardware engineering support, training, customer assistance, budget documentation, acquisition support, and management accounting. We identify gaps between information required in the accounting standard and those currently provided by the existing acquisition systems and processes and assisted in the evaluation of alternatives as defined by DODI 5000.2.
An evaluation and decision process for a major program, additionally undergoes the following processes:
- Capability Development Document (CDD). Key deliverable for providing the founda¬tion for many of the subsequent deliverables. Expands and provides detailed operational performance parameters necessary to design proposed systems. Supports program initiation, refines integrated architecture products, and clarifies how the program will support joint warfighting capability. Must contain detailed descriptions of all requirements, Key Perform¬ance Parameters (KPPs), and architectural products.
- Acquisition Strategy. Guides activity during the next phase of system development. Includes a Technology Development Strategy (TDS) to be followed throughout the system development phase.
- Acquisition Program Baseline (APB). Closely tied to the Acquisition Strategy. Establishes program goals, including thresholds and objective levels, for cost, schedule, and performance parameters that describe the program over its life cycle.
- Affordability Assessment. Programs cannot proceed into the system development stage, unless funding is available and adequate. This ends the technology development stage with an affordable increment of militarily-useful capability being identified.
- Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD). DoD 5000.4-M, Cost Analysis Guid¬ance and Procedures, states that in order to establish a basis for cost-estimating for any acquisition program, a description of salient features of the program and the system being acquired must be provided. The CARD provides this cost estimating basis. It is a living document updated for program and Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) reviews.
- Analysis of Alternatives (AoA). Document outlining alternative solutions to meet identified requirements. Takes into account cost, schedule, and ability to fulfill requirements. The AoA plan must be balanced between focusing the AoA and ensuring that the AoA considers novel and imaginative alternatives.
- Test Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP). Overarching document that describes the Develop¬mental, Operational, and Live-Fire testing of a system including metrics on how to evaluate system performance during testing. Contains an integrated test schedule and a list of required resources to accomplish them.
- Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM). Letter, prepared by the MDA, describing the highlights of the program, its progress and benefits, which grant authority to move into the next phase of the program – System Design.
At this point in DasNet’s engineering process, the team will have completed a complete, robust System Design Plan (SDP) to submit to the client, which incorporates at a minimum, the purpose of the project, all contact information, references used, Site Concurrence Memorandum and/or Project Concurrence Memorandum, Site Survey Report, Requirements Document and System Drawings.
Enterprise Architecture Design.
When done correctly, a thorough Abstract Concept Studies and Analysis, comprehensive Strategic and Preliminary Planning, a well-defined Requirements Definition and Analysis, a broad Evaluation of Alternate Technical Approaches conducted, and if necessary, Modeling & Simulation performed, will culminate in a comprehensive Enterprise Architecture Design. At this stage, the client can decide if the program is heading in the right direction, most likely produce the results sought, or should be terminated. A detail level system design that encompasses the sublevel systems as well as sub-sublevel systems will be presented utilizing AutoCAD layered features interlinked to the to all technical summary documentation used, as well as the client’s input. Once an Enterprise Architecture Design of the overall program, project or task has been accepted, a Cost versus Performance Trade-Off Analysis and Feasibility Analysis can take place. The end product will provide the client with a comprehensive engineering study for cost and/or technical usage in budgets, presentations, planning sessions, or to begin immediate execution.
06Engineering Installation Plan
Within the Engineering Installation Plan (EIP), DasNet will be creating the blueprint for the installation/implementation phase. The EIP will provide the sequential steps ensuring compliance with the approved plan and standard drawings, the Bill of Materials and detailed installation instructions that provide technical guidance for the engineering and design of the solution that will be integrated with the existing infrastructure. It will be based upon standards, policies, and industry practices, and will incorporate all locally required environmental and facility guidelines.
Incorporating the finalized versions of the SDP, DasNet will develop and deliver the Engineering Installation Package (EIP) to the client. The EIP will provide a comprehensive list of the materials and equipment to procure and detailed installation instructions for those components. DasNet will develop the Bill of Materials from the requirements of the SDP. The SDP will contain the initial Major Item Bill of Materials (MIBOM) list, and will be refined to form a finalized MIBOM. To support the installation, an Installation Bill of Materials (IBOM) will be created and provided in the EIP. Both Bill of Material lists will include priced estimates of itemized costs, to include service-level agreements and warranties for certain high value items.
DasNet will also specify detailed installation instructions in the EIP. The Installation Plan will provide technical guidance for the engineering and design of the solution that will be integrated with the existing infrastructure. It will be based upon standards, policies, and industry practices and DasNet will incorporate environmental and facility guidelines specified by the local command and/or host nation. These standards, policies, and industry practices will provide the design guidance for our engineers such that appropriate engineering practices and procedures are applied in development of this new architecture. These instructions will be in accordance with military standards and/or best commercial practices. Detailed engineering drawings, cable running lists, and an estimated timeline to implement, are included for the installation. The EIP will include a project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), a project schedule, and a Risk Mitigation Plan (RMP). The various reference documents applicable to the installation will be also listed within the EIP.
DasNet will be creating the blueprint for the installation/implementation phase. The EIP will provide the sequential steps ensuring compliance with the approved plan and standard drawings. Racks, cable runs, hardware units, etc. These will be laid out within the package. The EIP will assign responsibilities for all areas of the installation. The installation team will have a Project Manager who will be responsible for accomplishing the necessary preliminary actions prior to the actual start of the installation in order to eliminate or minimize actions that may impact or delay the installation effort. To accomplish this, the DasNet Project Manager will coordinate with the client representatives for an orientation visit and will compare the installation drawings with the facility. The DasNet Project Manager will also make contact with the client representative who will be the Government’s focal point. This Step also includes the development of a testing plan to ensure functionality. For each test, the Team will develop a Test Plan and Test Report that demonstrates to the customer the validity of the system. If training is part of the scope of the project, the end users will receive basic level training on how to operate and maintain the new systems, as well.
DasNet’s EIP will also consider the change process – to include work requests not covered by the EIP, minor changes to the specifications within the EIP that can be authorized by the DasNet Project Manager without prior approval of DasNet’s Satellite Engineering Program Manager, and major changes that will impact any change to equipment layout or mode of operation, or addition or deletion of equipment. The DasNet Project Manager will not make changes to the requirements and instructions of the EIP without prior approval of the DasNet Satellite Engineering Program Manager.
07Implementation and Installation
Utilizing the Engineering Installation Plan developed through DasNet’s System Engineering Process, the DasNet Project Manager will be deployed to supervise the installation of the client’s solution and will be by the DasNet engineering team personnel and/or subcontractors on-site.
DasNet will coordinate with the client’s technical site representative and involve him/her in monitoring the installation and service activities. Once the installation is complete, the hands-on training will cover top-level functionality, equipment operations and redundancy switches, interconnection with the client’s equipment, and trouble detection and reporting procedures within the DasNet Team maintenance concept. If additional training is required at a later date for the remote facilities, DasNet will provide such training once the training requirements and location is known. Examples of customer support that can be provided include training, regular preventative maintenance and trouble-shooting.
08Post-Implementation Support and Training
DasNet can provide up to hands-on familiarization training for the staff at the client’s site, at the conclusion of the installation, as well as on-going customer support on a contracted basis. Once the installation is complete, the hands-on training will cover top-level functionality, equipment operations, interconnection with the client’s equipment, and trouble detection and reporting procedures.
How well a facility, network, or its supporting equipment operates is interdependent on how well it is maintained. Operation & Maintenance (O&M) is a critical tool in maintaining mission critical systems and should be entrusted to those with the applicable knowledge, experience, and commitment.
DasNet performs O&M services for a variety of organizations worldwide, and provides fully trained technicians who are knowledgeable on and possess the requisite experience for operating, installing, configuring, repairing and managing the specific telecommunications infrastructure systems and equipment on each project.
It is this experience and expertise that decreases the amount of scheduled or unscheduled downtime experienced by the client, increases system reliability and network dependability, extends equipment longevity, and enhances desired efficiency.
DasNet has outlined, within its Quality Assurance Program, key principles and guidelines that all project managers; installation, integration, and quality control engineers; and O&M technicians are expected to comply with.