Standards-based Requirements are the Future of Space Technology


With the shift of government-led space projects toward deep-space missions, a commercial space industry is emerging to build the future of spaceflight and other activities in low-earth orbit. The space industry, whether working with the government or on new commercial projects, needs technical standards in order to focus on innovating new technologies while reducing associated costs, schedules and risks.

An industry that once moved to the cadence of government projects – where innovation was measured in years – is now looking more like a start-up industry in need of the insights and experience of experts in government, industry and academia who help define standards.

OMG is working on standardizing the CubeSat Reference Model proposed by the International Council of Systems Engineers and that utilizes OMG Systems Modeling Language™ (SysML®). OMG is coordinating with NASA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and the US Air Force Space and Missile Center (SMC) to create a coordinated set of standards for space-ground and on-orbit systems that can be used by all.



Space Domain Task Force

The OMG Space Domain Task Force (Space DTF) was established to answer a call by industry professionals for greater interoperability as well as a reduction in costs, schedule, and risk for space applications via increased standardization. Created to clarify space, satellite and ground systems requirements, the goal of the Space DTF is to provide a transparent, space-standards development environment that is open to all participants.

Ground Equipment Monitoring Service™ (GEMS™)

The Ground Equipment Monitoring Service standard defines a lightweight, easy-to-use interface model suitable for control and status of nearly all types of devices within space-related ground systems, such as modems, frame synchronizers, antenna controller, etc. Ground systems contain many devices and the control and monitoring software must be adapted to accommodate numerous interfaces defined by different manufacturers. System integrators must learn multiple APIs and develop applications libraries to account for significant variations in API designs and system behaviors from one vendor to another. GEMS solves this complexity by specifying a Platform-Independent Model for device control (using OMG Model Driven Architecture® design approach), and then mapping that model to a specific protocol and syntax. One driver implementation can support many different devices.

XML Telemetry and Command Exchange™

XML Telemetry and Command Exchange™ (XTCE™) reduces the need to develop mission-specific database import/export tools and enables the creation of multi-mission command and telemetry database tools for space link definition management. XTCE uses a carefully defined and annotated XML schema to allow the exchange of telemetry and command definitions. A satellite operator transitioning from one ground system to another can simply move an existing command control and telemetry database compliant with this specification to the new system.

XTCE US Government Satellite Conformance Profile™

XTCE US Government Satellite Conformance Profile™ (XUSP™) defines a subset of XTCE™, which was previously named GovSat, that addresses the need for a subset of XTCE for USA missions that are CCSDS compliance. By agreeing on a common subset of exchange fields, a higher percentage of telemetry and command definitions can be interchanged between different ground systems with no development costs.

Spacecraft Operations Language Metamodel™

Spacecraft Operations Language Metamodel™ (SOLM™) defines a metamodel to represent spacecraft operations procedures. SOLM provides for interchange of spacecraft operations procedures such as instruction sequences between organizations and ground systems. The specification also defines a SpacePython target language that supports all SOLM features.

Unified Modeling Language™

Modeling is the designing of software applications before coding. The OMG Unified Modeling Language™ (UML®) helps you specify, visualize, and document models of software systems, including their structure and design, in a way that lets architects work at a higher level of abstraction and focus on the big picture.

Data Distribution Service™ (DDS™)

Data Distribution Service™ (DDS™) is used by both NASA and the US Air Force to distribute large amounts of data from multiple sources to multiple collection centers instantaneously, allowing them to make missile launch "Go Fly" or "No Fly" decisions within seconds.

Command and Control Message Specification™ (C2MS™)

The Command and Control Message Specification (C2MS), defines the standardized messages along with interaction patterns for their use for common interfaces found in typical satellite ground data systems. This promotes platform independence that allows easy plug and play intercommunication among components.