Our primary focus in this paper is on open engineering systems. Developing ranged sets (as opposed to point sets) of top-level design specifications is a means to enhance openness and system flexibility by increasing design knowledge while maintaining design freedom. Consequently, our secondary focus in this paper is on metrics for assessing the design freedom and information certainty associated with a ranged set of top-level design specifications. As a demonstration, these metrics are applied to an example problem, namely, the conceptual design of a family of aircraft. Our emphasis in this paper is on introducing open engineering systems and metrics for design freedom and information certainty, and not on the example, per se.

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