Oct 20 – 22, 2015
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

Scope & Topics

ADCSS 2015 will address a set of key topics related to the design and implementation of present and future avionics systems. The 3-day program is divided in different sessions as follows:

Tuesday 20 October 2015 - SAVOIR

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 preliminary programme has been defined during the SAVOIR Advisory Group (SAG) meeting of 15 June 2015.

  • Process and outcome of the public review of the 3 first SAVOIR documents
  • Reports from WG:  MASAIS
  • PUS status
  • New activities, new WGs’, recently published standards
  • SOIS standard evolution: public review
  • SOIS prototyping in primes architecture
  • Mission Operation Services

Jean Loup Terraillon (TEC-SW), Kjeld Hjortnaes (TEC-SW), Philippe Armbruster (TEC-ED),  Alain Benoit (TEC-EC)

Jean-Loup Terraillon (TEC-SW)

Wednesday 21 October 2015 (am) - Avionics technology trends


Industry has come with innovative solutions where for instance more processing functions are executed by higher performance CPUs while some AOCS sensors can be miniaturised to the point of being introduced fully or partially in the central computer. A high degree of integration between data handling, AOCS and power distribution might become soon possible and compatible with reliable missions implemented on small spacecraft.

Many other trends exist as well  this is why the ADCSS 2015 organising committee decided to make an open call for papers, without imposing a priori predefined topics.

The objective of the session is to present and discuss innovations in the field of Avionics and trends including development processes spun in from other domains.




Industry, Agencies and academia are invited to propose short contributions for the session, addressing (some of) the topics listed under above objectives.
A short abstract of the presentation shall be submitted before September 17th, 2015 to the session coordinator.
The round table will include the accepted position presentations and an open discussion with the audience.

Davide Oddenino (TEC-ECC), Jean Loup Terraillon (TEC-SW), Gianluca Furano (TEC-EDD), Ferdinando Tonicello (TEC-ED)

Davide Oddenino (TEC-ECC)

Wednesday 21 October 2015 (pm) - Failure Detection Isolation and Recovery

Achieving mission objectives and ultimate mission success depends on the space system’s resilience, survivability, ability to sustain continued operation, reliability, and availability, which is depending on the mission type and priorities, operations profile, and operational context. On-Board Failure Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR), represented in the various system elements (e.g. Software, Avionics, AOCS), is a critical element for successful mission execution.

This session revisits the topic of FDIR engineering for Space Systems, as it was discussed at ADCSS 2011. Identified challenges then included, among others, mismatches between the FDIR concept, architecture, design solution, mission requirements, operational context and scope. FDIR development generally seemed to lack a systematic approach as part of the core architectural concept rather than an add-on approach to the nominal spacecraft capabilities, eventually leading  to unjustified increase in the FDIR complexity.

The output from ADCSS 2011 has been taken into account in the current ESA R&D roadmap, now showing promising results from several TRP studies performed and still on-going. Based on these results and insights and recent experiences gained by industry, it is time to define our next steps.

The purpose of the workshop is to assess the current state of practice in industry and state of the art in academia with respect to FDIR, both in terms of effective analysis and design methods and process support for spacecraft engineering as well as independent verification and validation. We are seeking concise position papers from industry, agencies and academia that provide a clear (15 minute) presentation on perceived open problems in this area and suggested directions to address and mitigate these issues. We welcome experience reports, including those from other application domains, that illustrate the need for these identified  future directions. These position statements will be used as input to a closing panel session and open discussion with the audience that will attempt to synthesize these findings into potential actions for inclusion in the ESA R&D roadmap update.

A short abstract of the proposed presentation shall be submitted by September 11th  2015 to the session coordinator.
Authors may also be contacted by the session convenors.

Alvaro Martinez Barrio (TEC-ECN), Marcel Verhoef (TEC-SWE), Jean-Loup Terraillon  (TEC-SW)

Marcel Verhoef (TEC-SWE)

Thursday 22 October 2015 - Operability and Modularity concepts of future RTUs/RIUs


The Remote Terminal Unit (RTU, sometimes called also RIU Remote Interface Unit) is an Avionics equipment that provides functions such as the collection of Housekeeping data and  the interfacing  to sensors, actuators, meters, loggers and to complete subsystems  as Propulsion S/s and in general to devices which do not have a direct link to the main Spacecraft computer via the Platform command & control bus.

The RTU acts as a slave unit to the main Spacecraft computer (called OBC,  On-Board Computer or SMU, Spacecraft Management Unit). More than one RTU can be present within the S/C avionics system. 

The RTU(s) is (are)  located near the monitored process and transfer data to and from the main S/C computer by a dedicated remote control interface. Typical RTUs are relatively simple devices but in a few cases, and already identified as a future trend, Software/Firmware is present in the form of a microcontroller (FPGA or ASIC) acting as the RTU central controlling core.

The most relevant specification characteristics of RTUs include the type of communication interface with the OBC, number of input power feeds, the number of ports for digital I/Os, number of analogue I/O channels, number and type of additional functions, redundancy scheme ( cold/hot redundancies and/or failure group).

Space industry and Agencies have been recognizing already for quite some time the need to raise the level of standardisation in the spacecraft avionics systems in order to increase efficiency and reduce development cost and schedule. The SAVOIR initiative has recently consolidated a reference Functional Architecture  and the RTU has been identified as one of the fundamental building blocks of a S/C avionics. SAVOIR is aiming to define  a set of generic  requirements that define how to operate a RTU A draft version of  the SAVOIR RTU specification will be presented and Primes  will provide their views on the operability concept of RTU/RIU

Modularity is considered a viable way to  reduce cost and development time for electronics unit and Equipment suppliers will present their solutions for the implementation of a modular and scalable RTU.

Sub-session 1:  Primes views and Equipment suppliers views.
Sub-session 2 : Presentation of SAVOIR RTU specification and Round Table.

A final round table will include the accepted position presentations and an open discussion with the audience.

The aim of the round table is to address the following topics:

  • Operability concept of a RTU:

    • A common RTU operability concept for different type of missions (like Science, Earth Observation, Telecom) could bring several benefits in term of cost reduction for Application SW development, implementation of a homogeneous FDIR.

    • SAVOIR will present a draft  Operability and Functional specification for a RTU at ADCSS2015. To which level of details a common RTU operability concept should arrive ?

  • Modular design of a RTU:

    • which are industry’s expectations for what concerns modularity of a RTU ?

    • Modularity shall be seen as a main feature of  a product portfolio from a RTU equipment supplier or modularity across RTU suppliers?

  • Building Blocks

    • The availability of microcontroller ( as standalone ASIC or as IP core in a FPGA) could change the avionics architecture of a S/C  allowing the decentralization of tasks very often exclusively performed  by  the OBC: an intelligent RTU could do much more  that simply storing  and executing acquisition instructions list.

  • Which building blocks are needed for the future RTUs ?  

    • At ESA we have in mind several:  Point of Loads Converters, Microcontrollers, mixed signal components (ICs and ASIC technologies), Industry’s contribution towards a more inclusive determination is paramount.

Marco Rovatti (TEC-EDD), Peter Roos (TEC-EDD)

Giorgio Magistrati (TEC-ED)