Reality check
Enabling & Support

Advanced Ground Software Applications Laboratory

1506 views 5 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Operations / gse

ESA's Advanced Ground Software Applications (AGSA) lab was established in 2014 to investigate and prototype advanced software concepts and technologies that enable the evolution of mission data systems for future missions.

The Mission Data Systems team at ESOC provide experts who design, develop, test and maintain custom data systems dedicated to each of the missions operated from the Centre, including mission control, mission planning and simulator systems.

The team focus on the Agency’s future human and robotic exploration missions, cubesats and new standards and software technologies for science, Earth observation and navigation missions. 


The AGSA lab was established at ESOC aiming to:

  • Create synergy between legacy mission data systems and the latest technology
  • Create advanced software applications for future missions
  • Collaborate with other labs
  • Increase workforce engineering skills

Current capabilities

The AGSA lab currently provides facilities and capabilities for:

  • Robotic Data Systems testing and validatino environment
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Simulation environment for exploration scenarios
  • Reference data systems for CubeSats (e.g. OPS-SAT, NetSat)
  • CubeSat engineering facilities (including a generic flatsat flight engineering model) for simulation, integration and validation
  • Private cloud environment and application deployment automation 
  • Software infrastructure for modern software technologies (e.g. SOA, Cloud, CEP)
  • Prototyping and proof of concept for new standards (CCSDS, MO services, telerobic services)
  • Deployment, integration and demonstration environment for R&D activities
  • Lab environment for Master’s and PhD students

The lab features self-managed, flexible and dedicated ICT facilities, a range of special equipment (e.g. Flat-Sat, robotics equipment, DTN routers) and technical work stations and desk-top units (thin client DTUs) with access to ESA and public clouds.


Current projects

Projects and applications currently being developed include:

  • Development of advanced robotic data systems
  • Development and validation of AR/VR capabilities for exploration missions
  • Development of a reference architecture for CubeSats
  • Advanced Automation Concepts for Complex Constellation Management
  • DTN for EO missions
  • Joint project with NASA JPL for use of CCSDS MO Services
  • Prototyping of CCSDS MO Massage Abstraction Layer binding to transport protocols
  • Development of a light weight web-based Monitoring and Control client for small satellites
  • Development and validation environment for OPS-SAT and NetSat
  • Development and validation of automated application deployment on ESA Cloud 
  • Interoperability testing of CCSDS standards with other agencies


ESA/ESOC - European Space Operations Centre
Mission Data Systems Division
Robert-Bosch-Straße 5
64293 Darmstadt

Related Links