European Cooperation for Space Standardisation (ECSS)

The software standardisation within European Cooperation for Space Standardisation (ECSS) spans over the Engineering branch (the E-40 family) and the Quality branch (the Q-80 family).
The ECSS-E-40 and Q-80
ECSS software standards, in particular ECSS-E-40 (Software Engineering) and ECSS-Q-80 (Software Product Assurance), have been in use since 1999 and 1996 respectively and were reissued in improved ‘B’ versions. The ‘C’ versions will be applicable after their publication in 2007. They are complemented by ECSS-E40-07, a specific standard on ‘software simulation’, and by the following level three handbooks:
  • ECSS-E-40-01 ‘Space Segment Software’
  • ECSS-E-40-03 ‘Ground Segment Software’
  • ECSS-E-40-04 ‘Software Life-cycle’
  • ECSS-E-40-05 ‘Software Verification, Validation and Testing’
  • ECSS-E-40-06 ‘Software development for reuse’
  • ECSS-Q-80-01 ‘Guidelines for the Reuse of Pre-developed Software’
  • ECSS-Q-80-02 ‘Guidelines on Software Process Assessment and Improvement’
  • ECSS-Q-80-03 ‘Guidelines for Software Dependability and Safety Methods and Techniques’
  • ECSS-Q-80-04 ‘Guidelines for Software Metrication Programme Definition and Implementation’
An ECSS newsletter introduces the ECSS software standards.
Training material and training courses are available for users willing to be introduced to the new notions and vocabulary of ECSS, which is process-based, as ISO12207 is, whereas PSS-05 prescribed a life cycle.

The training has been extensively given inside ESA, as well as for particular industrial groups such as Portuguese companies or SMEs.
These standards are comprehensive standards that may require tailoring when applied to specific projects. Consistent tailoring, taking into account project characteristics and programmatic constraints, should however be kept to a minimum. A tailoring tool wizard specific to ECSS-E-40B is available.
Last update: 20 March 2007

More information

 •  Other non ECSS DRDs (word) (
 •  Traceability between E40/Q80 requirements and the DRDs of E40 Part2 (zip) ( part 1B-2B
 •  ECSS newsletter about E-40 and Q-80 (pdf) (

Related articles

 •  The ECSS-E-40 Tailoring Tool Wizard (

Related links

 •  ECSS-E-40-Part1B (28 November 2003) (
 •  ECSS-E-40-Part2B (31 March 2005) (
 •  ECSS-Q-80 (10 October 2003) (
 •  ECSS website (
 •  ECSS-E40 and Q80 trainings (
 •  ESA software training for SME (