20-22 October 2020
Virtual Workshop
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

Scope & Topics

Tuesday 20 October 2020



A significant effort is being deployed by Agencies and Industry to streamline the development, validation and operation phases of spacecraft, with particular focus on the Avionics. This effort is being coordinated by ESA in the form of the "Spacecraft Avionics Open Interface Architecture" (SAVOIR) initiative. SAVOIR brings together ESA and industry experts in an open forum and is gaining significant momentum. Based on establishment of reference architectures, it provides the ground for the identification of building blocks interacting through standardised interfaces, service access points and protocols across hardware and software boundaries.


The objective of this annual SAVOIR session is to update the avionics stakeholders with the progress done over the last year and to discuss the next steps.


A programme has been defined during the SAVOIR Advisory Group (SAG) meetings held in 2020.

  • Status of the working groups (Masais, Software, Autocode, AOCS & FD, Avionics&Power interface, Operability)
  • SAVOIR related topics (Electronic Data Sheet, CORA)
  • Technology planning (Harmonisation, TDE)
  • Special focus on TEC-ED.


Wednesday 21 October 2020

Software Systems (am)

  • Status of OBSW (Qualification activities and ISVV Guide updates)
    • Status of achieved, ongoing and planned qualification activities of SW items (RTEMS, XtraTum, MathLib, BootSW etc) will be presented
    • Independent Software Verification and Validation (ISVV) is a process targeted at safety-critical software systems. It aims to increase the quality of software products, thereby reducing risks and costs through the operational life of the software. Since 2008, the European Space Agency and its partners have been using the ESA ISVV Guide for the application of ISVV activities and methods. Over these years, the ISVV stakeholders have collected a set of data, lessons learned and experiences, as well as an identified need to adapt the application of the guide towards new environments and new technologies. For this purpose, and to harmonize the ISVV Guide into a formal ECSS handbook, an update and improvement of the ISVV guide is currently on-going. This work is considering industry feedback and covering topics such as: ISVV to system level; guidelines for agile and iterative projects; reuse, verification and validation of data; auto-generated code; model-based techniques.
      This presentation addresses the main ISVV Handbook improvement topics and the process being followed to collect and confirm the proposed modifications, as well as the ISVV tasks that might lead to more discussions and disagreements among the ISVV stakeholders.
  • SW roadmap for SoC-based systems
    On-board systems are on the verge making use of state-of-the art multi-core processors and FPGA technologies that encompass multiple functional blocks and features. The investigations on how to exploit such technologies was started under the umbrella of Compact Reconfigurable Avionics activities. In such systems, the Software running on multiple-cores can be tightly coupled to functions implemented in the reconfigurable FPGA. The interactions between SW components and the corresponding HW functionality become exponentially more complex. The session propose to cover specific aspects of the development and operation of tightly couple HW/SW systems. This includes:
    • A specific complete development cycle that need to be put in place to ensure that the system is optimized for the characteristics of both the processors and the FPGA;
    • The sharing of functions between processors and FPGA and the need for toolchain that ease their deployment;
    • The management of updates of tightly coupled systems.

Control Systems (pm)

The challenging theme to address at the workshop will be Machine Learning (ML) in Space Control Systems, in the view of future challenging space missions. We want to discuss how and where the current ML technology can contribute and what challenges it will bring so as to be mastered and understood.

Aspects to be covered are

  • Understanding and managing the abundance of real-time data emerging from the physical world. One of the challenges is to progress beyond data analytics and pattern recognition and to address physical problems not only from a data driven perspective to
  • Rethink and unify machine learning into the field of dynamical systems and control theory in the context of spatio temporal large scale distributed and interconnect systems
  • Address the relation the field of optimisation and its direct ramification with formal software engineering, embedded high performance computing and avionics.

The overall objective is to arrive at a safe, robust and understandable machine learning technology for autonomy.

To animate this several presentations and a round table are planned:

  • Introduction ESA
  • Presentations by Industry
    • Airbus
    • TAS
    • Small Enterprises
  • Status from ML Academia  
  • Status from ML Research
  • Round Table


Thursday 22 October

Product Lines (am)

The increased possibility to reuse architectures and designs for new systems has reinforced the notion of product lines in the recent years. Product lines emphasize the need of stability of specifications, the better understanding of validation in context, and tooling which might help in achieving this. Equipment needs to become more interchangeable between systems, and interfaces benefit from standards.

The session will try to provide examples of product line developments, highlight challenges faced by equipment providers as well as system integrators. We will try to animate a discussion around recent examples in the space domain (generic platforms for Earth Observation).

Data Handling (pm)

  • Advanced Data Handling Architecture
    ADHA concept has raised along to a study performed by two consortia led by TAS and RUAG/ADS primes respectively.  Its concept and resulting backplane selection i.e. cPCI serial Space adopted by 32 stakeholders are well mapped to several trends shaping the development of future on highly integrated spacecraft CDHS allowing the execution of multiple software applications sharing common set of hardware modules.
    It is proposed to have a session at the ADCSS 2020 dedicated to ADHA. The two consortia will present the results of the study, the possible future family of ADHA products and finally the space applications that are targeted with these products. This session will also be a global forum giving the possibility to the participants to exchange about ADHA and the perspectives it opens.
    • TAS/RUAG/ADS to present the common ADHA architecture and the used standards
    • ADS to present ADHA products, and targeted applications
    • TAS to present ADHA products, and targeted applications
  • The implementation of AI application on spacecraft On-Board Computers and Data Handling Systems
    The convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and embedded systems (ES) on terrestrial applications are creating a revolution in the domain of computer science, communications and information technology with diverse engineering applications.
    For Space applications, a large number of new applications thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and Machine learning are today investigated for future spacecraft.
    This session will address on-board AI/ML applications for launchers and satellites (platform and instruments) and their implementations in spacecraft computer and data handling systems (CDHS). Some examples of practical implementations and techniques using AI/ML on spacecraft CDHS will be presented. This session will also allow the participants the possibility to exchange and share knowledge about current and future research axis in this domain.