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Most of the equipment performance and data problems experienced on recent aerospace programs suggest inadequate consideration of performance and data requirements and the absence of a discipline to assure complete definition of system hardware and software elements. A system requirements analysis (SRA) technique is described which is a discipline for complete system definition and also provides a medium for effective program management. To demonstrate by example how this SRA technique provides thorough consideration of all program objectives, data management is considered as a unique system element relative to its influence on the definition of operational equipment and procedures. This includes assumption of scientific data objectives, as initiated by a principal investigator (PI).