MERIT, Mission Environmental Requirements Integration Technology, is an interactive environmental database developed by the Air Force Wright Laboratory's Flight Dynamics Directorate (currently the Air Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory). The purpose of this MS Windows-based application is to quickly and accurately estimate, during the early conceptual design stage, the environments to which stores carried externally on fighter/attack aircraft will be exposed throughout all phases of the life cycle (such as manufacturing, deployment, storage, and operational usage). MERIT is currently used at approximately 75 locations within 25 companies and government agencies. During the development of the MERIT system, many important lessons were learned regarding the creation of environmental databases to support materiel acquisition functions (such as design, test, and maintenance). In this paper, the scope and capabilities of MERIT will be described in more detail. The basis for the lessons learned will be explained and illustrated through examples from the system's development history.

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