ECSS-E-ST-50-13C – Interface and communication protocol for MIL-STD-1553B data bus onboard spacecraft (15 November 2008)


Using standard communication protocols for spacecraft communication links can provide interface compatibility between communication devices and components. Thus, it can improve the design and development process as well as integration and test activities at all levels, and provide the potential of reusability across projects.

The aim of this space engineering standard is to define the interface services and to specify their corresponding bus protocol elements for spacecraft using the MIL-STD-1553B data bus. It also aims at defining requirements for harmonisation of physical interface and usage of the MIL-STD-1553B data link layer features.

Another goal of this standard is to facilitate the bus profiling task by proposing a message scheduling scheme to the mission system architects. Such framework helps to homogenise the allocation and control of communication resources across a single project or spacecraft mission.

The scope of this standard is as follows:

  • It details the usage of the MIL-STD-1553B.
  • It covers the communication protocols, services and functions needed for exchange of information over MIL-STD-1553B data bus.
  • It is limited to necessary and sufficient requirements to ensure compatibility for communication through MIL-STD-1553B data bus for communication devices onboard a spacecraft and across projects.
  • It covers a wide spectrum of mission needs.
  • It does not modify requirements that are under the scope of MIL-STD-1553B.·
  • It covers recommendation for verification and test of communication devices communicating through a MIL-STD-1553 data bus.

This Standard provides a comprehensive set of requirements for all communication devices and components onboard a spacecraft, which are connected to a single (redundant) data bus according to MIL-STD-1553B.

Although the standard focuses on the specification of single-bus architecture, questions related to multiple-bus-architectures or the use of repeaters for separable busses (for launchers) are also addressed.

This Standard aims at specifying requirements that are technically feasible, correct, consistent and compliant with the needs and overall technological approach and industrial policies of the participating Agencies and Industry.

This standard may be tailored for the specific characteristic and constrains of a space project in conformance with ECSS-S-ST-00.


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