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the ccsds next generation space data link protocol (ngslp)The CCSDS space link protocols i.e., Telemetry (TM), Telecommand (TC), Advanced Orbiting Systems (AOS) were developed in the early growth period of the space program. They were designed to meet the needs of the early missions, be compatible with the available technology and focused on the specific link environments. Digital technology was in its infancy and spacecraft power and mass issues enforced severe constraints on flight implementations. Therefore the Telecommand protocol was designed around a simple Bose, Hocquenghem, Chaudhuri (BCH) code that provided little coding gain and limited error detection but was relatively simple to decode on board. The infusion of the concatenated Convolutional and Reed-Solomon codes5 for telemetry was a major milestone and transformed telemetry applications by providing them the ability to more efficiently utilize the telemetry link and its ability to deliver user data. The ability to significantly lower the error rates on the telemetry links enabled the use of packet telemetry and data compression. The infusion of the high performance codes for telemetry was enabled by the advent of digital processing, but it was limited to earth based systems supporting telemetry. The latest CCSDS space link protocol, Proximity-1 was developed in early 2000 to meet the needs of short-range, bi-directional, fixed or mobile radio links characterized by short time delays, moderate but not weak signals, and short independent sessions. Proximity-1 has been successfully deployed on both NASA and ESA missions at Mars and is planned to be utilized by all Mars missions in development. A new age has arisen, one that now provides the means to perform advanced digital processing in spacecraft systems enabling the use of improved transponders, digital correlators, and high performance forward error correcting codes for all communications links. Flight transponders utilizing digital technology have emerged and can efficiently provide the means to make the next leap in performance for space link communications. Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) provide the capability to incorporate high performance forward error correcting codes implemented within software transponders providing improved performance in data transfer, ranging, link security, and time correlation. Given these synergistic technological breakthroughs, the time has come to take advantage of them in applying them to both on going (e.g., command, telemetry) and emerging (e.g., space link security, optical communication) space link applications. However one of the constraining factors within the Data Link Layer in realizing these performance gains is the lack of a generic transfer frame format and common supporting services amongst the existing CCSDS link layer protocols. Currently each of the four CCSDS link layer protocols (TM, TC, AOS, and Proximity-1) have unique formats and services which prohibits their reuse across the totality of all space link applications of CCSDS member space agencies. For example, Mars missions. These missions implement their proximity data link layer using the Proximity-1 frame format and the services it supports but is still required to support the direct from Earth (TC) protocols and the Direct To Earth (AOS/TM) protocols. The prime purpose of this paper, is to describe a new general purpose CCSDS Data Link layer protocol, the NGSLP that will provide the required services along with a common transfer frame format for all the CCSDS space links (ground to/from space and space to space links) targeted for emerging missions after a CCSDS agency-wide coordinated date. This paper will also describe related options that can be included for the Coding and Synchronization sub-layer of the Data Link layer to extend the capacities of the link and additionally provide an independence of the transfer frame sub-layer from the coding sublayer. This feature will provide missions the option of running either the currently performed synchronous coding and transfer frame data link or an asynchronous coding/frame data link, in which the transfer frame length is independent of the block size of the code. The benefits from the elimination of this constraint (frame synchronized to the code block) will simplify the interface between the transponder and the data handling equipment and reduce implementation costs and complexities. The benefits include: inclusion of encoders/decoders into transmitters and receivers without regard to data link protocols, providing the ability to insert latency sensitive messages into the link to support launch, landing/docking, telerobotics. and Variable Coded Modulation (VCM). In addition the ability to transfer different sized frames can provide a backup for delivering stored anomaly engineering data simultaneously with real time data, or relaying of frames from various sources onto a trunk line for delivery to Earth.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Kazz, Greg J.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Greenberg, Edward
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 1, 2016
Publication Date
May 5, 2014
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Meeting Information
SpaceOps 2014, International Conference on Space Operations(Pasadena, CA)
Distribution Limits