Systems Engineering (SE)

Making SoS Smarter – MBSE Driven IoT

by Matthew Hause


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of systems (SoS) in every sense of the definition. A.P. Sage and others list five common SoS characteristics: operational independence of the individual systems, managerial independence, geographical distribution, emergent behavior and evolutionary development or independent life cycles. Typical examples include smart houses, the electric grid, and so-called smart cities. With military systems increasingly making use of IoT techniques in the upgrade, development and implementation of systems, IoT is becoming a critical factor. The future of IoT success is dependent on the application of solid Systems Engineering and Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) principals. Without MBSE, the complexity involved in the design, development, and deployment of IoT systems would consume both system and operational providers. IoT systems cannot be built in a vacuum and their success will only be realized through application of modern day systems engineering processes, methods, and tools. With the potential of 28 billion “things” connected to the Internet by 2020, it’s not too difficult for anyone paying attention to this emerging technology trend to envision the massive scale of social, economic, and technological changes that will need to occur to realize this prediction. Technology advancements in consumer products will continue to evolve to facilitate connection to larger and larger IoT networks. This will be the catalyst that will drive entire infrastructure changes to: Federal, State, City, and local governments; military systems; product development companies; utility and service providers; and even to consumers and their homes in order to support the growing demand for connected products. To avoid issues with security levels, this paper will show a traffic management system and connected systems in a large city and how an MBSE and SoS approach will help guide development.