Systems Engineering

CNA applies our proven approach of understanding our clients’ operations through firsthand observation and experience to inform a systematic approach for determining the detailed requirements and processes required to turn concepts of operation into real systems that realize the expected benefits for the stakeholders.

Requirements Development

CNA uses the Concepts of Operations (ConOps), enterprise architecture, and functional analysis as key inputs to develop program requirements. These requirements are at a level of specificity to allow them to be a basis for evaluating scope, cost, and benefits of alternative solutions. Iterative requirements development allows for preliminary program requirements to be refined into final program requirements. We are experienced in negotiating complex situations with many stakeholders having different and sometimes conflicting needs.

Program requirements are broken down further to develop system specifications, which are used by system developers to create the new system. We develop specifications that are consistent, complete, unambiguous, and verifiable in order to ensure that the system delivered meets all of the client’s needs.

Federal NOTAM System

CNA has been at the forefront of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) modernization efforts for Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). We performed research, analysis, and business process evaluation and provided systems engineering expertise to support the evolution of the modernized Federal NOTAM System (FNS) from initial prototype fielding to an operational system for digital NOTAMs. We performed system, safety, and operations analyses and developed requirements, procedures, operational improvements, process designs, system performance specifications, and technology validation. For each operational event, we generated a scenario defining the information required to represent the feature and its status, and the business rules required to ensure compliance to FAA policy. NOTAMs span the full operations of our National Airspace System, and CNA analysts have successfully engaged with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that the program and system requirements meet the full range of business, policy, and operational needs.

Special Activity Airspace

CNA managed development and deployment of the Special Activity Airspace (SAA) project in coordination with the FAA’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM) program. We supported communications with FAA infrastructure, security, and telecommunications personnel to identify best practices for SAA system deployment and maintenance, which included analyzing architecture alternatives, design constraints, and functional analyses of the legacy capabilities. We developed a plan for migration of Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) systems to a new platform. Finally, we coordinated with all affected systems, worked with development contractors to document deployment procedures, and managed system migration. 

Business Process Analysis

CNA analysts perform business process analysis to help an organization document, streamline, and potentially automate its business processes. It is important to understand how an organization’s processes work and how they can be improved to reduce costs, remove duplication of effort, improve quality, and make more efficient use of resources.

National Flight Data Center

CNA led the implementation of an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 compliant quality management system (QMS) within AIM, focused on the National Flight Data Center (NFDC), to meet International Civil Aviation Organization requirements for data quality. CNA analysts mapped and analyzed the NFDC’s business processes, resulting in identification of system improvements, opportunities to standardize processes, and improved data collection policy and processes for aeronautical information. We developed a training program and vital documentation, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs), to formalize the QMS. We used continuous improvement compliance audits to identify quality, safety, and environmental issues that affect AIM and its customers, then recommended and implemented standard business practices to improve operations.