Authentication Unit Shell
The Authentication Unit Shell package is a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software component which implements all the features of the ground and space ends of the ESA Telecommand Authentication Unit (AU). The Shell:
- generates and validates the authentication tail of a telecommand data block
- provides a full range of facilities for setting keys and counters
- implements the Authentication Control Commands of the AU
- supports the Authentication Unit reports defined in the standards
The Authentication Unit Shell is a software component. It contains the complexity of the authentication process and presents only simple interfaces. This makes it easy to integrate into any system that requires authentication facilities, such as:
- telecommand encoder of a Spacecraft Control System
- telecommand encoder of a Spacecraft Ground Testing System (EGSE)
- telecommand decoder of a Spacecraft Simulator
An instance of the Authentication Unit Shell supports a single Authentication Unit, either in space or on the ground. If the spacecraft has multiple Virtual Channels, then each Virtual Channel has its own Authentication Unit. An executable program may have multiple instances of the Shell.
Security alternatives to the Authentication Unit Shell
We also provide support for the ESA Telecommand Authentication Unit as an option for our Telecommand Encoder Shell and Telecommand Decoder Shell packages.
As an alternative to the ESA AU, our telecommand product range includes the Segment Level Security Interface (SLSI), which is an interface for external implementation of security features such as authentication.
The September 2015 issue of the TC Space Data Link Protocol standard (CCSDS 232.0-B-3) includes the specification of the interfaces between the TC protocol and the Space Data Link Security Protocol (SDLS). We are currently updating our Telecommand Encoder Shell and Telecommand Decoder Shell products to include optional interfaces to the SDLS protocol.
Please contact us for further information on technical questions or licensing conditions for our Authentication Unit software packages.