This document contains the project definition, the functional requirements, and the functional design for a proposed computer automation system for scanning spectrophotometers. The system will be implemented on a Data General computer using the BASIC language. The system is a real-time data acquisition system with 'on-line' data reduction, quality assurance, report generation and plotting. It is designed for operation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Data General automation system. Analyses included in the system facilitate the determination of chlorophyll concentrations, the evaluation of color in waters, and a general transmittance/absorbance measurement of any given sample. Quality assurance is provided by the analysis of standard filters. Two related publications are titled, 'An Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer Automation System - Part II User's Guide' and 'An Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer Automation System - Part III Program Documentation.'