This paper appears in BIGDSE '16: Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on BIG Data Software Engineering, published by the ACM.
Acquirers, system builders, and other stakeholders of big data systems need to define requirements, develop and evaluate solutions, and integrate systems together. A reference architecture enables these software engineering activities by standardizing nomenclature, defining key solution elements and their relationships, collecting relevant solution patterns, and classifying existing technologies. Within the national security domain, existing reference architectures for big data systems have not been useful because they are too general or are not vendor-neutral. We present a reference architecture for big data systems that is focused on addressing typical national defense requirements and that is vendor-neutral, and we demonstrate how to use this reference architecture to define solutions in one mission area.