[Sls-slp] [Ccsds-all] CCSDS PR - Special Delivery: NASA's MESSENGER Sends Flyby Data to Earth Using CFDP

Walz Penelope (BTAS) penelope.walz at btas.com
Tue Aug 9 18:26:18 UTC 2005

Dear CCSDS Community:


Today CCSDS Public Affairs began dissemination of a press release
entitled "Special Delivery: NASA's MESSENGER Sends Flyby Data to Earth
Using CCSDS File Delivery Protocol Developed for Deep Space by
International Team" through international newswire and to targeted media
contacts worldwide.  The release should be available to the general
public tomorrow, Aug. 10, but for your convenience, it is attached in
.pdf format and also appears below.  


Thanks to the following individuals for their input on this release:


- Scott Burleigh, NASA JPL

- Christopher Krupiarz, JHU APL

- Kathy Rockwell, NASA JPL


If you have any future CCSDS public affairs ideas, please feel free to
send them to me at penelope.walz at btas.com
<mailto:penelope.walz at btas.com>  .  


Thank you for your participation and support.   


Best regards,

Penelope W. Walz

The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems

CCSDS Secretariat Support - Public Affairs

6301 Ivy Lane, Ste 720

Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA

Tel -      +1 301 474 5424

Fax -     +1 301 474 5427

Mobile (best contact) - +1 571 235 1625

E-mail -   penelope.walz at btas.com <mailto:penelope.walz at btas.com> 



CCSDS Press Release

Please hold until WED, August 10.


Special Delivery: NASA's MESSENGER Sends Flyby Data to Earth Using CCSDS
File Delivery Protocol Developed for Deep Space by International Team


WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (CCSDS) - NASA's MESSENGER team is using the CCSDS
File Delivery Protocol (CFDP), a highly specialized protocol designed to
overcome space operations communications challenges, to download data
captured during a successful flyby of Earth last week.  

A team of international space data communications experts, collaborating
through the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS),
developed CFDP to reliably and efficiently downlink files from a
spacecraft even in the strenuous environment of deep space.  Since the
MESSENGER spacecraft's launch a year ago, it has successfully used CFDP
to enable mission communications and will use it throughout its
7.9-billion kilometer journey to Mercury.  

In using CFDP, MESSENGER communications represents a change in the
standard method of storing science and housekeeping data on spacecraft
built by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
(JHU/APL).  MESSENGER is also the first U.S. space flight mission to use
CFDP in mission operations.

Prior to MESSENGER, JHU/APL missions used a raw storage model of storing
data, but new mission and operational requirements meant that MESSENGER
would have to incorporate a file system of data storage into its
spacecraft software architecture.  A reliable method of downlinking
files to the ground had to be found and CFDP was chosen by mission
planners to do the job.  

CFDP is included in the MESSENGER software architecture through a reuse
of a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (NASA JPL) implementation on the ground and
a JHU/APL "CFDP-lite" implementation on the flight side.  The NASA JPL
implementation is also used on NASA's highly successful Deep Impact

"JHU/APL engineers integrated CFDP software developed by NASA JPL into
the MESSENGER mission's ground system, which communicates with a CFDP
flight software implementation developed by JHU/APL on the spacecraft,"
said Christopher Krupiarz, senior professional staff member, JHU/APL
Space Department Embedded Systems Group in Laurel, Maryland (USA).
"Being able to use an international standard like CFDP was a key factor
in getting two systems developed by two different organizations to work
for one Mercury bound spacecraft."

CFDP is designed to function reliably despite the long data propagation
delays and frequent, lengthy interruptions in connectivity found in deep
space.  It uses powerful forward error correction coding that minimizes
data loss in communication across deep space, and also supports optional
"acknowledged" modes of operation in which data loss is automatically
detected and a retransmission of the lost data is automatically

Some of the world's leading space communications experts working within
CCSDS collaborated at bi-annual working group sessions (similar to those
scheduled to take place next month in Atlanta, Georgia) to first
standardize CFDP.  They defined the protocol according to space file
transfer requirements articulated by CCSDS participating space agencies,
including NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the British National
Space Centre (BNSC), the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and
the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The protocol's ability to
maintain a high level of data transfer reliability even across
interplanetary distances makes it critical to successful communications
on deep space missions like the MESSENGER mission to Mercury and is
expected to have a high level of applicability to future Lunar
exploration missions.

CFDP also benefits space flight missions in another important way:  cost

CFDP allows an instrument to record an observation in a file and
transmit the file to Earth without having to consider whether or not
physical transmission is possible at that time. Sequestering outbound
data management and transmission planning functions within CFDP can
simplify flight and ground software, which reduces mission costs - an
important benefit to lower cost missions like MESSENGER. 

CCSDS will continue to foster global scale technical cooperation to
develop recommendations for space communication like CFDP that increase
interoperability, as well as reduce risk and mission operation costs.
Currently, the organization is investigating extending the use of CFDP
in emerging delay-tolerant networking technology to Interplanetary
Internet operations, and specifically to the use of CFDP in complex
mission configurations, which should further enhance the usefulness and
value of CFDP to space exploration missions in the future.

Scott Burleigh, CCSDS working group chair and lead CFDP system engineer
at NASA JPL in Pasadena, Calif. commented, "The successes of CFDP on
MESSENGER and the Deep Impact mission bring us closer to having an
automatic interplanetary communication fabric that can support deep
space science and exploration the way the Internet supports science on


# # #


About CCSDS 

Established in 1982 by the world's most influential space agencies, the
Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) provides
well-engineered international space data handling standards that enhance
government and commercial interoperability and cross-support, while also
reducing risk, project cost and development time.

            A pioneer in international cooperation in space, the CCSDS
is made up of leading space communications experts representing 28
countries, its founding member space agencies, 22 observer space
agencies and over 100 private companies.  CCSDS national member space
agencies include Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy,
Brazil, Russia, Canada and the United States, as well as the
multi-national European Space Agency.    

            To date, more than 300 missions to space have chosen to fly
with CCSDS protocols and the number continues to grow.  For more
information on participation or to access CCSDS standards and protocols
free of charge, please visit http://www.CCSDS.org. 



Contact for the Press:

Penelope W. Walz

CCSDS Public Affairs

Tel 1 - +1 301 474 5424

Tel 2 - +1 571 235 1625

E-mail (best contact) - penelope.walz at btas.com







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