Ground-space communication solution for the European Space Agency (ESA)

Our team from AROBS Engineering developed a ground-space communication solution for the European Space Agency (ESA) that consisted of a File Transfer Solution fully integrated with the onboard spacecraft software.

Our Expertise

We develop solutions that respond to our partner’s specific needs and preferences. We partnered with them to support their R&D cycles and create new products.

multicore implementation

The Client

The European Space Agency (ESA) develops Europe’s space capability. Its work and missions benefit the citizens of Europe and the world.

Its mission involves exploring the Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System, and the Universe. ESA also develops satellite-based technologies and services.

The Challenge

Space missions require the ability to process large amounts of data. Mass memories for space missions are vital elements of the overall spacecraft architecture. Furthermore, mission operations are changing from the packet to the file paradigm.

Large amounts of data are needed to establish efficient ground-space communication links. ESA integrated the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP) to facilitate file transfer between the spacecraft and the ground. The new protocol, if successful, would become the standard data transfer protocol for future missions.

The new development had to be integrated into an existing onboard software framework and not be a standalone CFDP protocol implementation. It also had to include Class 1 & 2 message transfer and Store and Forward Overlay (SFO) procedures. Essential services such as event notification, message handling, equipment handling, and logging were already available, but the CFDP protocol also had to facilitate the development of other applications.

The Solution

We created a complete file transfer solution based on three major technical components:

space communication solution

Our ground-space communication solution offered the following features:

The Benefits

We developed a reliable, future-proof file transfer system that supports multiple platforms and essential space standards. It integrates seamlessly into existing spacecraft software and allows the development of new services and applications.

The main output of this activity was centered on the several tested and validated implementation of the CFDP protocol on the main SoC space-ready platforms and their respective combination of RTOS SW platforms. This allowed all future space missions direct access to a proven, stable, and optimized CFDP solution (which we also fully validated against ESA’s legacy/standard implementation).

The European Space Agency considers the solution an integral component of future space missions. It facilitates space exploration and new scientific experiments by providing the essential functionality to efficiently process data in communications links between ground control and orbital vessels or interplanetary journeys.

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