Space Link Services Area

The Space Link Services Area (SLS) supports the work of the CCSDS by developing efficient space link communications systems common to all participating agencies. A space link interconnects a spacecraft with its ground support system or with another spacecraft. Agencies' new generations of space missions require telecommand and telemetry capabilities beyond current technologies. These new needs are for higher data rates, better link performances, more performing ranging systems, together with lower cost, mass and power and higher security.

More specifically, the SLS Area concentrates on layers 1 and 2 (of OSI protocol stack), namely: RF and modulation, channel coding and data link layer, for both long-haul (e.g.: spacecraft to ground) and proximity links (e.g.: orbiter to lander). Two additional functions are also covered by the SLS area: data compression for end to end data transfer optimization, and ranging for accurate orbit determination. The area is composed of specialized working group whose objective is to develop specific recommendations. One recommendation will typically cover one OSI layer or sub-layer. This layering of recommendations maximizes flexibility and interoperability with other commercial protocols (e.g. : TCP/IP).

Note - CCSDS Experimental Specification (Orange Books) indicates that it is part of a research or development effort based on prospective requirements, and as such it is not considered a Standards Track document. Experimental Recommendations are intended to demonstrate technical feasibility in anticipation of a 'hard' requirement that has not yet emerged. Experimental work may be rapidly transferred onto the Standards Track should a hard requirement emerge in the future.

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