The CCSDS wireless working group composed of ESA, NASA, and industrials strives to promote and support the development of wireless in space systems; the group is working at the elaboration of recommended practices and implementation guidelines. In this framework, a fair comparison between several wireless technologies for sensors has been identified as a key element enabling future wireless sensor networks in space. The SSIART activity is meant to support this initiative by thoroughly analysing testing and evaluation needs, and by specifying precisely shared test procedures and a reference test platform.
Status as of February 2012: The agreements covering the coordinated work and shared data between the two space agencies is being drafted.
Understanding the origin of SSIART
In 2010, the CCSDS SOIS Wireless Working Group was searching for a way to produce fair comparisons between several wireless technologies for sensors (e.g. PHY/MAC technologies, routing algorithms, power consumption, frequencies, responsiveness…).
The available solutions, e.g. internal developments and simulations, did not offer the required comparative framework because they are either highly implementation-dependent or data is simply missing for a proper simulation.
At the same time, ESA and NASA were looking for collaborative activities in the field of wireless communications. This led the group (made of ESA, NASA and industrials) to propose a collaborative activity that would result in solving this precise issue.
The Smart Sensor Inter-Agency Reference Test bench (SSIART) shall provide the space Agencies and the Industry with a reference platform to test wireless sensor technologies in real representative applications, while promoting them at the same time.