CCSDS Time-critical Onboard Networking Service

S. Parkes, R. Schnurr, J. Marquart, G. Menke, M. Ciccone
Conference/Journal Name: 
Spaceops 2006
Date Published: 
June 2006
Page References: 

The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) is developing recommendations for communication services onboard spacecraft. Today many different communication buses are used on spacecraft requiring software with the same basic functionality to be rewritten for each type of bus. This impacts on the application software resulting in custom software for almost every new mission. The Spacecraft Onboard Interface Services (SOIS) working group aims to provide a consistent interface to various onboard buses and sub-networks, enabling a common interface to the application software.

 The eventual goal is reusable software that can be easily ported to new missions and run on a range of onboard buses without substantial modification. The system engineer will then be able to select a bus based on its performance, power, etc and be confident that a particular choice of bus will not place excessive demands on software development.  This paper describes the SOIS Intra-Networking Service which is designed to enable data transfer and multiplexing of a variety of internetworking protocols with a range of quality of service support, over underlying heterogeneous data links.

 The Intra-network service interface provides users with a common Quality of Service interface when transporting data across a variety of underlying data links. Supported Quality of Service (QoS) elements include: Priority, Resource Reservation and Retry/Redundancy. These three QoS elements combine and map into four TCONS services for onboard data communications: Best Effort, Assured, Reserved, and Guaranteed. Data to be transported is passed to the Intra-network service with a requested QoS. The requested QoS includes the type of service, priority and where appropriate, a channel identifier. The data is de-multiplexed, prioritized, and the required resources for transport are allocated. The data is then passed to the appropriate data link for transfer across the bus. The SOIS supported data links may inherently provide the quality of service support requested by the intra-network layer. In the case where the data link does not have the required level of support, the missing functionality is added by SOIS. As a result of this architecture, re-usable software applications can be designed and used across missions thereby promoting common mission operations. In addition, the protocol multiplexing function enables the blending of multiple onboard networks. This paper starts by giving an overview of the SOIS architecture in section II, illustrating where the TCONS services fit into the overall architecture. It then describes the quality of service approach adopted, in section III. The prototyping efforts that have been going on are introduced in section IV. Finally, in section V the current status of the CCSDS recommendations is summarized.