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Spacecraft Telemetry: Published standards

The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) publishes recommended standards (Blue Books) for spacecraft telemetry. The standards define protocols, procedures and data structures, including the TM Transfer Frame. The standards have been adopted by many space agencies.

The current CCSDS documents can be downloaded from their website at http://public.ccsds.org/.  The CCSDS site also provides a link to the registry of the Space Assigned Numbers Authority. The ECSS website is at www.ecss.nl.

Note: The telemetry standards define the TM Space Data Link Protocol for handling Version-1 Transfer Frames, which are generally used on the downlink from a spacecraft. The AOS standards define the AOS Space Data Link Protocol for handling Version-2 Transfer Frames, which are typically used on high speed downlinks and can also be used on the uplink.

CCSDS recommended standards

plus related standards:

Addition of Space Data Link Security (SDLS)

The September 2015 issue of the TM Space Data Link Protocol standard (CCSDS 132.0-B-2) includes the specification of the interfaces between the TM protocol and the Space Data Link Security Protocol (SDLS). We are currently updating our Telemetry Encoder Shell and Telemetry Decoder Shell products to include optional interfaces to the SDLS protocol.

The related standard for the SDLS protocol is:

CCSDS original recommendations

The CCSDS original recommendations for packet telemetry are now obsolete (silver status):

The original recommendations have some differences, for example in presentation and technical terms, but the major technical content is similar to the current standards.

ESA Standards and ECSS

The standards of the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are based on the CCSDS standards.

I B + M A de Lande Long Software + Consultancy provided support for the development of telemetry standards for ECSS:

The ECSS standards replace the earlier ESA standards:

CCSDS informational reports

CCSDS publishes informational reports (Green Books) which provide additional information and explanation.  The Green Books relevant to telemetry include:


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