Recent advances in ontology development support a rich description of entities that are modeled within a domain and how these entities relate to each other. However, even with ontology information, interoperability of a (sub-) system with other systems remains a serious issue. Interoperability issues may arise when two sub-systems that had not been designed as a unit must now work together. Interoperability issues also arise when extensions to a sub-system result in conflicts with the remainder of the system. In this work, we target (sub-) systems pertinent to advanced life support that are developed using software agent technology. Our innovation is to develop an ontology-aware meta-model to support designers and developers in exposing the information that must be captured in order to achieve the goal of 'designing for interoperability, extensibility, and re-use'. Additionally, the meta-model will be integrated into the agent-oriented software engineering (AOSE) design process. Even beyond development of the meta-model and methodology for coupling into the design process, we propose to develop tool support so that the meta-model can be easily utilized within the design process. The success of this innovative meta-model, process, and tool, will support agent-based software re-use and rapid, trouble-free integration of upgraded sub-system components.