TMTC (Telemetry and Telecommand) Front-End - Celestia STS

About TMTC Front-End


The TMTC Front-End is a telemetry (TM) and telecommand (TC) unit which provides direct control of spacecraft, using baseband interfaces during spacecraft development, assembly, integration, test (AIT) and launch phases. 

The TMTC typically connects to the spacecraft On-Board Computer (OBC) or Central Data Management Unit (CDMU) via the direct bypass interfaces or via an RF SCOE. 

The TMTC Front-End is used for spacecraft onboard computer testing, flight Transponder or communicate with spacecraft before the launch. 

TM TC Interface Processing Unit 1
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Key Features


  • Telemetry and Telecommand processing system (ESA, ECSS, CCSDS)
    • TM Acquisition and Simulation
    • TC Generation and Acquisition
    • Bit Error Rate Tester
  • 60x RS422/LVDS pairs for baseband interfacing
  • Selectable error correction, line encoding/decoding
  • Telemetry Frame and Packet processing to/from bit level
  • Telecommand Packet and CLTU processing to/from bit level
  • Flexible source and destination routing for unit and spacecraft AIT
  • Galvanically isolated FMEA compliant for direct connection to the flight equipment
  • Includes closed-loop testing, TC Echo, Transponder/RF SCOE end-to-end testing
  • Local data generators allow performance testing including error injection
  • Sophisticated error catching, statistics, logging, and data archiving
  • Used stand-alone or remotely via CCS

Key Features


  • Telemetry and Telecommand processing system (ESA, ECSS, CCSDS)
    • TM Acquisition and Simulation
    • TC Generation and Acquisition
    • Bit Error Rate Tester
  • 60x RS422/LVDS pairs for baseband interfacing
  • Selectable error correction, line encoding/decoding
  • Telemetry Frame and Packet processing to/from bit level
  • Telecommand Packet and CLTU processing to/from bit level
  • Flexible source and destination routing for unit and spacecraft AIT
  • Galvanically isolated FMEA compliant for direct connection to the flight equipment
  • Includes closed-loop testing, TC Echo, Transponder/RF SCOE end-to-end testing
  • Local data generators allow performance testing including error injection
  • Sophisticated error catching, statistics, logging, and data archiving
  • Used stand-alone or remotely via CCS

The system consists of a 19” 3U hardware platform connected to the C-STS Control and Monitoring Software (CMS). The system can be used as a desktop connected with a standard PC or integrated into a 19″ rack with a dedicated server platform. 

The TMTC unit provides Spacecraft Compatible, FMEA proven, galvanically isolated interfaces to the spacecraft with up to 60 differential IO pairs allowing connection to OBC (bypass) interfaces, RF SCOEs, Transponders, and other equipment. Additional interfaces are used for Network Data Interface Unit (NDIU), Closed Loop connections as well as RF Suitcase applications. 

The TMTC Front End performs real-time Frame/CADU and CLTU processing and includes selectable error correction coding and time stamping, plus additional test functions such as Bit Error Rate Testers. 

Our CMS software provides packet processing layers, archiving, logging, remote network interfaces (typically for Central Checkout Systems) and a powerful local Graphical User Interface. 

The CMS provides a wide range of statistics regarding the TM and TC incoming and outgoing data with a counter for both good and bad information e.g. received frames, frames with RS corrections, MCFC errors, VFCF errors, SPSC errors, etc. 

The TM Frame viewer allows identification of bit errors and corrections in RS decoded data. The monitors allow TM Frames, TM Packets, TC CLTUs, and TC Segments/Packets to be viewed at a raw hexadecimal level with header decoders. 

Support for more advanced functions such as Service A TC and TC Authentication is also available, as is support for Space Link Extension (SLE). 

The remote interface of the system is configurable by C-STS to meet the needs of the customer Central Checkout System. Many interfaces are available off-the-shelf such as EDEN, C&C.  

The system includes hardware time stamping support through optional interfaces such as PPS, IRIG-B, and IRIG-G. 

The systems are highly customizable to fulfill specific spacecraft needs. 

C-STS has delivered TMTC systems since 1998 for major European prime contractors, such as AIRBUS, THALES, OHB, SSTL to support ESA and non-ESA spacecraft missions including XMM-Newton, INTEGRAL, MSG, Herschel, Planck, Mars Express, Rosetta, Venus Express, LISA Pathfinder, Solar Orbiter, Bepi Colombo, JUICE, Euclid, Smart-1, PROBA-V, Cryosat, GOCE, TerraSAR-X, SWARM, GAIA, Galileo, Sentinel-1, 2 & 3, EarthCare, ExoMars, Sentine-6/JASON-CS etc.