Technology Domains

TD Technical Domain description
1 On-Board Data Systems
Addresses both spacecraft data management and payload data processing and covers the hardware and software required for data acquisition, data processing, storage for both payload and spacecraft data, on-board networking and the space-link network layer and above.
2 Space System Software
This addresses both space and ground segment. All basic techniques and technologies in the field of software and information technology with respect to their application to space missions.
3 Spacecraft Electrical Power
This addresses the techniques and technologies related to power system architecture, to power generation, distribution and conditioning and to energy storage.
4 Space Environments & Effects
Space environmental effects are limiting on all space missions and need to be assessed during all mission phases. Assessment requires the creation of environment models and the knowledge of effects, which is obtained with in-flight measurement and testing.
5 Space System Control
This addresses all technological aspects that are related to the control of the complete space system (space and ground segments), and thus covers a wide scope of topics and technologies.
6 RF Payload and Systems
Covers all technologies and techniques related to satellite systems and networks, spacecraft payloads, and ground equipment, for telecommunication, TT&C, navigation, Earth observation and space science, operating up to microwave or millimetre-wave frequencies.
7 Electromagnetic Technologies & Techniques
Covers antennas and related technologies, wave interaction and propagation, and electromagnetic compatibility.
8 System Design & Verification
Covers technology, methods and tools to support the System Engineering processes (specification, design, and verification) of space systems during the complete lifecycle of space missions (phases 0 to F). It focuses on the problem of reducing the schedule and/or cost of the development process of the space system (space and ground segments) while controlling quality and risk (mission success) to the required level. It covers new paradigms (e.g. model-based systems engineering), approaches and techniques for the development of space systems, which are mostly common to several service domains.
9 Mission Operation & Ground Data systems
This addresses aspects related to the control and operations of space systems (space and ground segmenta), and the technologies associated to the supporting systems and tools. The domain is centred on Mission Control Systems (MCSs), which are used to monitor and control both space and ground segments.
TD Technical Domain description
10 Flight Dynamics & GNSS
This comprises the activities related to the analysis and definition of a space project that involve any trajectory aspect, known as mission analysis. It includes all operational ground activities related to the measurement and control of spacecraft orbit and attitude. Furthermore it deals with the provision of precise navigation services to both ground and space-based users.
11 Space Debris
Covers all aspects related to the knowledge of the meteoroid and debris environment including space surveillance, databases, assessing debris risk levels for current and future missions, re-entry of space objects, hyper-velocity impacts and protection, mitigation measures, handbook and standards.
12 Ground Station System & Networks
This domain covers all elements and know-how required for the engineering of the facilities that connect the space segment with the control centres.
13 Automation, Telepresence & Robotics
Covers the specification, development, verification, operation and utilisation of space automation systems. Such systems include: 1) space robot systems (comprising both arm-based systems for inspection, servicing and assembly of space system infrastructure or payloads and mobile robots for surface exploration on celestial bodies); and 2) space laboratory automation and payload control systems in manned and unmanned missions.
14 Life & Physical Sciences
Covers all technological aspects related to the instrumentation in support of life and physical sciences, and for ensuring the delivery of a complete system (instrument) technology. The objective is to support an optimised scientific return, the emphasis being rather on a consistent system philosophy rather than on the development of component technologies. Also includes the technologies and techniques relating to planetary protection, both in terms of sterilisation methods and technologies, and also technology needed to monitor contaminants.
15 Mechanisms & Tribology
All devices which operation involves a moving function of one or several parts (e.g. actuator, hold-down & release device, pointing mechanism, deployable boom, thrust vector control mechanism), and associated specific disciplines and tools.
16 Optics
This addresses technologies and techniques for systems, instruments and components, as well as design, engineering and verification methods, in the field of optics.
17 Optoelectronics
Covers the development and application of technologies combining photonics (i.e., circuits handling photons) with electronics to achieve given functions.
18 Aerothermodynamics
Includes classical aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics, i.e. including high-temperature chemical kinetics as well as gas-surface interactions. It covers all flow regimes from free molecular to continuum for Earth as well as planetary missions. It is applicable for internal flows in rocket systems, for satellite plume interactions and contamination as well as for external flows around space vehicles, and for design and analysis of advanced flow control methods, such MHD, bleed, etc.
TD Technical Domain description
19 Propulsion.
Covers all technologies, tools and processes related to propulsion for spacecraft, launchers, and space vehicles. Covers a wide range of technologies including chemical and electrical systems as well as advanced, non-classical concepts.
20 Structures & Pyrotechnics
Covers all technologies and methodologies related to the design, analysis, manufacturing and testing of structures and mechanical systems for spacecraft, planetary infrastructures, habitats, launchers and re-entry vehicles. This includes all metallic and non-metallic structures such as advanced deployable structures (solar array-, radiator-, shield- and antenna structures), highly loaded structures, highly stable structures and hot structures. In addition, technologies related to meteroid and debris shields and pyrotechnic devices are included.
21 Thermal
Covers all technologies needed for the thermal control of space systems.
22 Environmental Control Life Support (ECLS) & In Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU)
Covers all technologies for controlling, maintaining and supporting human presence in space and the utilisation of local resources.
23 EEE Components and quality
Covers technologies related to the design, production and testing of electrical, electromechanical & electronic (EEE) components which meet the performance and reliability requirements for use in on-board electrical electronic systems.
24 Materials and Processes
Covers the materials mechanics and processes, and their physics, chemistry and mechanical behaviour.
25 Quality, Dependability and Safety
Covers the quality, reliability, availability, maintainability and safety of space systems and their constituents (hardware, software and human element). It also addresses methods and tools for the assessment and management of technical risks associated with space systems and their operations.
26 Other

Last update: 11 March 2010

Copyright 2000 - 2018 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.