12, August 2019

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9973
Open Date: 08/08/2019
Closing Date: 03/10/2019 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 19.1ET.27
Prog. Ref.: Technology Developme
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / RF / Microwave Communication (Platform and Payloads) / “Communication – BB (Antennas excluded)” / Other
Technology Domains: RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom System Engineering Tools / RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom Signal Processing / RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Networking Techniques / RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Telecommunication Systems/Subsystems / Telecom Security Techniques and Technologies / RF Systems, Payloads and Technologies / Radio Navigation Systems/Subsystems / Formation-flying RF metrology
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. & Quality
Department: Electrical Department
Contract Officer: Erkelens-Sickinger, Franziska
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 08/08/2019
Update Reason: Tender issue

A number of missions are being investigated, under development or even already flying that use the concept of multiple spacecraft interconnected with an intersatellite Link (ISL); they are mainly nano/smallsats (Proba-3 and Gomex-4a/b as current generation examples and AIM/HERA as future non-LEO case) but with clear interest also for regular mission. The only standardised protocol for such radio links is Proximity-1 that is however tailored for different applications (mainly data relay among landers and orbiters in a reduced complexity network topology with only limited accuracy for the line-of-sight ranging estimation). Advanced solutions have been however investigated and (partially) developed on the basis of proprietary solutions in the frame of various RD contracts (ESA or not) and to provide specific products for private/national missions. The adoption of such proprietary solutions (often kept confidential to public) is seen as a limitation for the full exploitation of such constellation/formation concept, for example for heterogeneous/progressively deployed systems developed by different industries. It also prevents the development of reusable products.This activity is meant to define requirements (functional, performance and I/F) and give recommendations for an open ISL protocol (RF, not optical, up to Layer 4) that allows implementations from different developers to be able to be part of the same network thanks to a common standard and to allows system integrators to gain from a more competitive ISL market. While the intended “market” is the European one, any coherent solution will be proposed to CCSDS. A small proof of concept (software simulator) will be produced. The ISL system shall be able to support bidirectional data exchange, 1D/3D localisation, relative attitude determination and time correlation/synchronisation in a tailorable fashion to best match specific mission needs.The activity encompasses the following tasks:- gathering of contextual data, state of the art, existing solution, and requirements for the future ISL to be fully interoperable.- protocol development- software simulator proof of concept development

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