Using model based systems engineering for the development of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope's operational plan

Brian M. Selvy, Charles Claver, Beth Willman, Don Petravick, Margaret Johnson, Kevin Reil, Stuart Marshall, Sandrine Thomas, Paul Lotz, German Schumacher, Kian Tat Lim, Tim Jenness, Suzanne Jacoby, Ben Emmons, Tim Axelrod

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We† provide an overview of the Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) language, tool, and methodology being used in our development of the Operational Plan for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) operations. LSST's Systems Engineering (SE) team is using a model-based approach to operational plan development to: 1) capture the topdown stakeholders' needs and functional allocations defining the scope, required tasks, and personnel needed for operations, and 2) capture the bottom-up operations and maintenance activities required to conduct the LSST survey across its distributed operations sites for the full ten year survey duration. To accomplish these complimentary goals and ensure that they result in self-consistent results, we have developed a holistic approach using the Sparx Enterprise Architect modeling tool and Systems Modeling Language (SysML). This approach utilizes SysML Use Cases, Actors, associated relationships, and Activity Diagrams to document and refine all of the major operations and maintenance activities that will be required to successfully operate the observatory and meet stakeholder expectations. We have developed several customized extensions of the SysML language including the creation of a custom stereotyped Use Case element with unique tagged values, as well as unique association connectors and Actor stereotypes. We demonstrate this customized MBSE methodology enables us to define: 1) the rolls each human Actor must take on to successfully carry out the activities associated with the Use Cases; 2) the skills each Actor must possess; 3) the functional allocation of all required stakeholder activities and Use Cases to organizational entities tasked with carrying them out; and 4) the organization structure required to successfully execute the operational survey. Our approach allows for continual refinement utilizing the systems engineering spiral method to expose finer levels of detail as necessary. For example, the bottom-up, Use Case-driven approach will be deployed in the future to develop the detailed work procedures required to successfully execute each operational activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VII
EditorsPhilippe Dierickx, George Z. Angeli
ISBN (Electronic)9781510602014
StatePublished - 2016
EventModeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VII - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 28 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherModeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy VII
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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