ESA title
Enabling & Support

PSS documents

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Microelectronics

This is an overview of the ESA Procedures, Specifications and Standards (PSS) documents concerning Space Data Communications.

Important Notice

Many of the PSS standards are now obsolete or superseded by ECSS standards. Availability and PSS-ECSS equivalence matrix is given by ESA Publications in the PSS Catalogue or ECSS Catalogue. Some (drafts) of the PSS-04 and -05 standards can be downloaded from our ftp server.

ESA standardisation architecture

This is the ESA standardisation architecture (or documentation tree), which is structured into PSS branches and levels. The next section provides an overview of the Space Data Communications documents.

PSS-00-0 ESA Standardisation Policy and Architecture

  • PSS-01-0 Product Assurance and Safety
  • PSS-02-0 Electrical Power and EMC
  • PSS-03-0 Mechanical Engineering and Human Factors
  • PSS-04-0 Space Data Communications
  • PSS-05-0 Software Engineering
  • PSS-06-0 Management and Project Control
  • PSS-07-0 Operations and EGSE
  • PSS-08-0 Natural and Induced Environment
  • PSS-09-0 Control Systems
  • PSS-10-0 Ground Communications and Computer Networking

Space Data Communications

  • PSS-04-0 Space Data Communications
  • Space Data Communications are concerned with the following technical areas:
  • Telemetry, i.e. the acquisition of supervisory and scientific data on board the spacecraft, their transmission from the spacecraft and their acquisition by the ground systems.
  • Telecommand, i.e. the generation of spacecraft control data by ground systems, their transmission form the ground and their acquisition by the spacecraft subsystems.
  • Tracking and Ranging, i.e. the localisation of the spacecraft.

PSS-04-10 Space Link Standards and Protocols

The Space Link Standards and Protocols documents are essentially concerned with the data communication techniques relevant to the space link, i.e. where the transmission medium is space.


  • PSS-04-103 Telemetry Channel Coding Standard
  • PSS-04-104 Ranging Standard
  • PSS-04-105 Radio Frequency and Modulation Standard
  • PSS-04-106 Packet Telemetry Standard
  • PSS-04-107 Packet Telecommand Standard
  • PSS-04-108 Advanced Orbiting Systems, Networks and Data Links
  • PSS-04-109 Radio Frequency Standard for Data Relay Systems
  • PSS-04-110 Coding Standards for Data Relay Systems
  • PSS-04-151 Telecommand Decoder Specification
  • PSS-04-152 S-Band Transponder Specification for Data Relay Systems Users
  • PSS-04-20 Spacecraft Data Interfaces and Protocols

The Spacecraft Data Interfaces and Protocols documents are essentially concerned with the data communication techniques relevant to the data systems on board the spacecraft. Typical topics are: data transfer interfaces (from the spacecraft data bust down to the command pulse concept to activate latching devices), spacecraft time management, etc.


  • PSS-04-201 Data Systems User Interface Standards
  • PSS-04-202 Time Code Formats and Procedures Standard

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