Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of using CCSDS Recommendations?
The implementation of CCSDS Recommendations provides the following benefits:
  • Promotes Understanding of Exchanged Data
  • Reduces Nonrecurring Costs
    • Fewer Project-Unique Developments
    • Shorter System Test Periods
    • Less Training or Retraining of Personnel
  • Reduces Recurring Costs
    • More Commercial Off-the-Shelf Hardware
    • Fewer Facilities Because of Load Leveling
    • Only Selected System Redundancy
    • More Automation
  • Reduces Mission Risk
    • Technology is Vetted and Tried by Multiple Agencies
    • Better Chance of Short-Notice Emergency Support from Other Agencies
  • Enables Ingest and Access to Long-Term Data Archives

2. How do I become a member of CCSDS?
Participants in the CCSDS are classified in one of four categories: Member Agency, Observer Agency, Liaison, or Associate. Any organization wishing to participate in the CCSDS activity should petition the CCSDS Secretariat in writing requesting permission to participate in one of the four categories. In the case of an application for Member Agency, Observer Agency, or Liaison status, the CCSDS Secretariat shall present each request to the CMC (CCSDS Management Council) for consideration and approval. Following the MC decision, the Secretariat shall notify the agency or organization of the result.
Private companies or institutions should complete an Associate application form. In the case of a request for CCSDS Associate status, the organization is approved once the application has been
  • completed by the applicant;
  • approved by the Principal Delegate of the sponsoring Member or Observer Agency;
  • signed by the CCSDS Secretariat.

3. Who can attend the technical meetings and discussion forums?
Typically CCSDS Member, Observers, Liaisons and Associates, are invited to attend CCSDS Technical Meetings. Note that Working Group (WG) Chairs generally manage WG membership. Participants must register (at no cost) to attend meetings. Registration is subject to approval by CCSDS management. CMC delegates from the sponsoring agency for that nation will be notified of all attendees from organizations from that nation registering for a meeting, and may decline approval of registration if needed.
Note that CCSDS Management Council (CMC) Meetings are generally limited to CMC delegates and their staff, although observers can attend portions of the management meetings, if requested through the Secretariat and approved by the CMC members.
Each Member Agency is expected to name provide, as a minimum, regular support from technical experts to several technical working groups.
Observer Agencies are encouraged, but not required, to contribute resources to the areas. Individuals from the Observer Agencies are invited to participate as technical experts.
Participation by Liaison organizations in meetings are encouraged. This participation will facilitate coordination among the organizations as well as promote the exchange of ideas, thereby improving the quality and acceptance of CCSDS products by the user community.

4. What rules or requirements does CCSDS have for working group participation?
For details, refer to our Organization and Processes Manual of CCSDS procedures. But some highlights are:
  • We are a consensus organization. Decisions and directions are developed by consensus within the technical and management teams.
  • We have a CCSDS Code of Conduct to promote professional behavior by our participants. Check section ANNEX F of our Organization and Processes Manual.
  • We have a patent policy for technology introduced in the standards process. Check section 2.4.1 of our Organization and Processes Manual.

5. How do I obtain CCSDS Recommendations?
CCSDS Recommendations and Reports are available in pdf format for downloading from the Publications page.

6. Can private companies and institutions participate in CCSDS?
CCSDS recognizes the need for closer ties between private companies/institutions and international space agencies. The CCSDS Associate category allows companies and institutions to participate in the development of CCSDS Recommendations in an attempt to promote a symbiotic arrangement that will benefit both the private sector and the space agencies. Private companies and institutions have developed many CCSDS-compliant, mission-support products, ranging from spacecraft platforms and space-qualified hardware components to ground support hardware and software. Click Here for details.
CCSDS Associate status is obtained by completing the Application Form for CCSDS Associate and obtaining an endorsement from a CCSDS member agency.
Sponsoring CCSDS agencies are responsible for notifying their associates whenever new or revised CCSDS Recommendation is posted for review. Associates are encouraged to submit comments about and suggest changes to CCSDS draft Recommendations. Associate review comments are considered in formulating the formal agency positions on the review document.
There is no charge to the CCSDS Associates for the services they receive.

7. What do the Document Colors Signify?
Again, for details, refer to section 6 of our Organization and Processes Manual of CCSDS procedures. For a summary, Click Here.
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