ECSS-E-ST-50C Rev.1 – Communications (1 March 2021)


This Standard specifies the requirements for the development of the end­-to­-end data communications system for spacecraft.
Specifically, this standard specifies:

  • The terminology to be used for space communication systems engineering.
  • The activities to be performed as part of the space communication system engineering process, in accordance with the ECSS-E-ST-10 standard.
  • Specific requirements on space communication systems in respect of functionality and performance.

The communications links covered by this Standard are the space-ground (i.e. space­-to­-ground and ground-to-space) and space­-to­-space links used during spacecraft operations, and the communications links to the spacecraft used during the assembly, integration and test, and operational phases.

Spacecraft end­-to­-end communication systems comprise components in three distinct domains, namely the ground network, the space link, and the space network. This Standard covers the components of the space link and space network in detail. However, this Standard only covers those aspects of the ground network that are necessary for the provision of the end-­to­-end communication services.

NOTE Other aspects of the ground network are covered in ECSS-E-ST-70.

This Standard may be tailored for the specific characteristics and constraints of a space project in conformance with ECSS-S-ST-00.



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This standard is supported by ECSS Handbook: ECSS-E-HB-50A – Communication guidelines (18 November 2008)

This document cancels and supersedes ECSS-E-ST-50C “Communications” (31 July 2008)