OMG, INCOSE partner to advance CubeSat standards

OMG, INCOSE partner to advance CubeSat standards

International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) CubeSat Reference Model to be submitted for Object Management Group (OMG) standardization.

March 16, 2018
Edited by Eric Brothers

The Object Management Group (OMG), an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) will jointly develop and distribute the INCOSE CubeSat Reference Model (CRM) to advance standards for CubeSats.

A 1U CubeSat is 10cm x 10cm x 10cm with a mass of about 1.3kg. CubeSat units can be joined to form a larger 2U, 3U, and 6U satellites. Their small payload allows CubeSats to join launches from other organizations at a reduced cost. The Nanosatellite and CubeSat Database reports that CubeSat launches tripled from 2016 to 2017 to nearly 300 launches. The number of CubeSats and the number of organizations developing CubeSats have increased dramatically. However, there is no common reference model to design a CubeSat, thereby limiting interoperability, slowing development times, and forcing constant research to remain current on the latest innovations.

The CRM provides the logical architecture of a CubeSat space and ground system. The CRM can be a starting point for a mission-specific CubeSat logical architecture, followed by the physical architecture and the CubeSat development.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, the INCOSE CRM will go through the OMG standardization process. In addition, OMG will issue a request for proposals regarding the CubeSat Reference Model. OMG CRM status, progress, and deadlines can be found at

“Both OMG and INCOSE share a mutual commitment to support and accelerate knowledge growth in the systems engineering arena,” said William Hoffman, president and COO of OMG. “The CRM is already in a model form, providing a fill-in-the-package framework and identifies subsystems to consider and other agencies to coordinate prior to launch.”

“Today’s announcement reinforces our joint cooperation with OMG to deliver a CubeSat Reference Model that applies a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) method and will be reusable and extensible to a variety of specific space missions and payloads,” said Garry Roedler, president of INCOSE.