Monitoring and control systems are needed at different phases of each mission, from Assembly Integration and Testing through to operations. Within Europe, such systems have historically been developed by different organisations, and are typically based on different technologies or infrastructures.

As a result, the reuse of systems and exchange of information across missions or even across mission phases is generally not efficient and sometimes even impossible. In addition, the legacy systems are aging and becoming costly and difficult to maintain or upgrade.

First step: an international agreement

Recognising these problems, the European Space Agency established an agreement with European National space agencies (DLR, CNES, UKSA) as well as the large European system integrators, Airbus, Thales Alenia Space and OHB Systems, for a collaboration to develop a European Ground System Common Core (EGS-CC). Together they have formed a Steering Board (SB) and a Systems Engineering Team (SET), overseeing the development.

The ultimate goal

The essence of EGS-CC is a common infrastructure forming the basis for the various monitoring and control systems for the different mission phases and for all mission types. This ensures uniformity across the development cycles and supplier chains throughout a mission, and allows for maximising synergies and transfer between projects and project phases, as well as the sharing of maintenance cost.

Telespazio led a consortium that has completed Phase B of this activity.

The main objective of Phase B was to prepare the ground for the development phases of the project, and essentially perform the Software Requirements Specification and the Architectural Design of the future infrastructure. This work has been carried out in close collaboration with the SET, where several workshops and intermediate reviews have taken place. In addition, the formal reviews of the project have been open to the wider space community in Europe.

Within phase C/D, which is planned to be completed in 2018,  the future uniform monitoring & control infrastructure, covering all mission types and mission phases, will be developed and integrated. Telespazio is leading the initial stage of phase C/D. Telespazio leads the consortium, consisting of 20 companies from ten European countries, which is carrying out the development.

We are confident that EGS-CC will bring many benefits to the European space community, and look forward to the next phases of the project.

EGS-CC website