October 24, 2022
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

SAVOIR (Space Avionics Open Interface Architecture) is a joint initiative by ESA, national agencies & industry to federate the space avionics community and to work together in order to improve the way that the European Space community builds avionics sub-systems (see SAVOIR website). The overall goal is to streamline the development of avionics systems (on-board data systems, AOCS, flight software) for space programmes, considering the need to increase efficiency, timeliness and cost-effectiveness in the development & integration process.

The objectives of the SAVOIR initiative are:

  • To reduce the schedule and risk and thus cost of the avionics procurement and development, while preparing for the future
  • To improve competitiveness of avionics suppliers
  • To influence standardisation processes by standardising at the right level in order to get equipment interchangeability (the topology remains specific to a project)
  • To define the governance model to be used for the products, generic specifications, interface definition of the elements being produced under the SAVOIR initiative.

The expected benefits of SAVOIR are:

  • For customers, streamline the procurement process of spacecraft avionics
  • For system integrators, facilitate the integration of the spacecraft avionics
  • For suppliers, prepare the technical conditions for a more efficient product line organisation.

The primary outputs of SAVOIR initiative are:

  • Reference avionics architecture for spacecraft platform hardware and software
  • A set of standard avionics external and internal interface specifications
  • The definition of building blocks composing the architecture
  • The functional specification of selected building blocks comprising the architecture
  • Process definition and assessment

The SAVOIR Advisory Group comprising ESA, national agencies and industry (Large System Integrators) was established in 2007 and since then has made significant progress in finalising the above outputs and fostering their implementation via the procurement processes for space projects. The benefits are currently being demonstrated on ongoing projects.

To date, however, the application of SAVOIR has mainly been on medium-large size space projects involving the Large System Integrators in Europe. So far, SAVOIR has not been applied to small missions involving CubeSats, and the CubeSat community has had little exposure to/involvement in the initiative. Whilst CubeSat avionics products tend to have de facto standard electrical & data hardware interfaces, and to some extent data packet protocols (e.g CSP), there are no such standard interfaces for CubeSat flight software.

In order to establish the potential benefit of SAVOIR to the increasing market of CubeSats, it is proposed to hold a workshop at ESTEC. The workshop is intended to foster collaboration between the two communities for mutual benefit. The proposed event is open to ESA, national agencies, and the European CubeSat community. It will give an overview of the SAVOIR ecosystem, and provide details and demonstrations of concrete achievements with those products and approaches.

Interesting presentations are planned, and the final discussions should help in identifying matching needs, but also to identify additional needs from the CubeSat community, potentially driving future SAVOIR developments to support these needs.

The event takes place immediately before the ESA Workshop on Avionics, Data, Control and Software Systems (ADCSS) at ESTEC on 25-27 October 2022 in order to maximise the participation of stakeholders in the European space avionics & CubeSat communities.

Newton Conference Center