(19 February 2013) Software originally developed at ESA for satellite ground systems is enjoying growing use in many non-space fields.
These and other innovation topics will be discussed by international experts at ESA’s European Ground System Architecture Workshop on 18–19 June.
Controlling a satellite in orbit requires highly trained engineers and sophisticated software and ground systems – the ‘ground segment’ – which are designed and developed by teams at ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.
The ground segment requires very high-quality software databases, tools and applications to make everything work, ensuring that telecommands can be generated and issued quickly and correctly and that precious data are downloaded and distributed to scientists.
40 years of ground segment development
Through more than four decades of ground segment development for over 60 missions, experts at ESOC have produced some of the world’s best satellite control and operations software.
Today, in addition to powering dozens of ESA and partner agency missions, ESA-developed ground segment tools and applications are being shared with European industry under innovative, royalty-free licensing schemes.
“Our specialised software includes control systems, simulators and test and validation tools, and we share these with industry in ESA Member States, significantly boosting European industrial competitiveness,” says Nestor Peccia, Head of ground segment infrastructure software development at ESOC.
On 18–19 June, ESOC will host the fourth European Ground System Architecture Workshop (4th ESAW), which is expected to include over 220 delegates from worldwide, presenting their latest research and development results.
Confirmed attendees include representatives from ESA, the French, German and Italian space agencies, NASA, Immarsat, Eutelsat and European and US industry including some of the world’s top space engineering firms.
Improving European space software
ESAW will provide an international forum for ground system architects to exchange ideas and best practices. Presentations will cover all aspects of spacecraft ground systems with a special focus on collaboration and common solutions.
Sessions will address architecture, methodologies, services, lessons learned, business cases and advanced technologies, including software, security and automation.