Background

Recent adoption of ethernet

  • Many new Ethernet based spacecraft developments (in particular nearly all new launch vehicles)
  • NASA MPCV and NASA Avionics Roadmap

Research by DLR and CNES

Promising research on deterministic Ethernet based networks for
satellites like AFDX and TTEthernet

Space only? Unaffordable!

With rising development costs, space only developments for data
handling have simply become unaffordable

Standards

Instead of proprietary communication profiles, standards allow
modular and cheaper system design

Motivation

Since naturally Ethernet will be used in more and more space
applications around the globe, what exactly is the motivation for the
EtherSpace consortium? First of all there is the aspect of open standards
and interoperability – as well as full compatibility with IEEE 802.3. IP
providers, chip manufacturers as well as companies providing cables
and connectors have to work together to establish the relevant ECSS
and CCSDS standards. This fosters even faster adoption. Secondly,
providing a platform for “Ethernet in space” success stories helps to
promote these standards further. Finally, there are significant challenges
in bringing 10 Gbps and faster Ethernet solutions to space. They will
require substantial investment in the right radiation hardened Ethernet
controllers and transceivers. This can more easily be shouldered
by a consortium than one or two individual companies and despite
recent growth the market for space grade components is still small!
Consequently the consortium mid-term aims at the development of
cost-competitive, standardized components with no export restrictions
so they can be deployed globally.