A special project group formed in 2014 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign performed systems engineering study of the potential application of an unmanned aerial vehicle to augment the exploration capabilities of land-based Martian vehicles. This group worked under the guidance of members of NASA’s Human Exploration team at Johnson Space Center. The suggested study is a follow up to the Mars surface systems study . The systems engineering approach used to achieve a conceptual design of its configuration and operations is documented in the report, A Conceptual Design of a Martian UAV  and is summarized in this paper. Total systems contexts were explored and defined using mission objectives and vignettes inspired by the three science mission areas prescribed in the Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0 (DRA 5.0): surface mapping, atmospheric, and biological investigations. Systems level capability requirements were derived from operational ranges and covereages defined by recommended surface landing sites in DRA 5.0. Mission systems, navigation, avionic, power and propulsion systems architectures were allocated, and the air vehicle configuration candidates selected. Atmospheric modeling for performance and risk assessments were some of the discriminators used in the down selection process.