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The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

Electronic Data Sheet Definition

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
Start Date
End Date
United Kingdom
Electronic Data Sheet Definition
Electronic Data Sheets (EDS) provide a machine-understandable mechanism for describing electronic units onboard spacecraft, such as sensors, actuators and instruments. EDS intend to replace the Interface Control Documents (ICD) and data sheets which accompany each device and are necessary to determine the device operation and how to communicate with it. The objectives of this activity are:
  • Investigate EDS capabilities beyond the current focus to the functional and data handling aspects, e.g. to include electrical, thermal and mechanical domains, as well as others where EDS could be valuable.
  • Based on the existing industrial processes for avionics design and configuration, capture all information items which should be present in EDS.
  • Elaborate on the EDS data exchange format, having in mind the set of existing CCSDS standards for Electronic Data Sheets (i.e. XML Specification for EDS (876.0) and Specification of Dictionary of Terms for EDS (876.1).
  • On a set of uses cases, perform proof-of-concept using a set of prototypes. The use cases shall range from generating flight software and I/O drivers, through system database generation and generation of various validation tests, to generation of AIT simulation models and procedures.
An integral part of the spacecraft development process is the population of the spacecraft database with information related to the interfaces of individual units. This is a significant task involving the manual entry of enormous amounts of data (150,000 items for a typical spacecraft). The content of the information, which is provided by unit suppliers to the Primes, is not standardised and subject to inconsistencies, immaturity and incompleteness, and this is clearly prejudicial to system development.
A way forward has been identified in the form of electronic data sheets (EDS). If the paper ICD traditionally provided by unit suppliers is supplemented, and ultimately replaced, by a standard machine readable input the whole process of database input can be automated. In addition pre-checks can be made on the completeness and accuracy of the provided information.
Such an approach has been confirmed by Primes as providing the possibility for considerable streamlining of the integration process.
Over past several years ESA has been involved in the development of CCSDS XML Specification for EDS (876.0) and CCSDS Specification of Dictionary of Terms for EDS (CCSDS 876.1) which recently went through agency review. This activity builds on this effort and extends it in several directions as per the objectives defined above.
The activity will influence the way in which the Primes exchange information with electronic unit suppliers, perform system integration and build spacecraft database.
Application Domain
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain
2 - Space System Software
Competence Domain
3-Avionic Systems
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Achieved TRL
Public Document
Executive Summary
Final Presentation