Home Contact


An ESA Technological Research Program


COrDeT-2 is an ESA TRP study, contract ESTEC 000100991/10/NL/JK.

ESA Technology Research Programme (TRP) is the backbone of ESA's innovation effort covering up to proof-of-concept Technology Research Level (TRL) TRL 3. The COrDeT-2 study is part of ESA initiative to promote TRP studies on reference architectures and component-based software engineering.

The Space Community share three goals in relation with the On-Board Software Reference Architecture (OBSW-RA) which are taking as COrDeT-2 main programmatic stakes:

  • Allow for a faster software development in the context of a reduced schedule, i.e., the ability to release in a short time a new version of the OBSW product and ultimately the complete and validated product.
  • Be compatible to a late definition or changes of some of its requirements, e.g., typically for mission specificities like the system FDIR, system mission management or adaptation to hardware specificities or hardware changes.
  • Cope with the various system integration strategies, i.e., be flexible enough e.g., to allow for early release to integration or cope with late central data management unit availability.

Although the On-Board Software (OBSW) in ESA's mission share many capabilities and constraints, the approach followed by the software architects when designing the software very much differs from one project to other, mostly restricted by the software prime requirements and influenced by their own background and experiences. Software architects need a global software architecture framework designed for the needs of OBSW domain and also fundamental principles guiding software design and evolution.

The study aims to achieve a specification of the OBSW-RA; detail the interface requirements; model and verify these interfaces; integrate them into the Reference Architecture; and validate the OBSW-RA specification through a dedicated case study.

COrDeT-2 is coordinated by the European Space Agency (ESA). GMV, SciSys, University of Padua, Astrium satellites, Thales Alenia France and SoftWcare integrate the consortium, acting GMV as prime.

COrDeT-2 is a follow-on of the COrDeT and DOMENG studies. The COrDeT-2 consortium has participated in these studies and therefore they have a clear understanding of the standardization challenges of this study. This consortium is also involved in the SAVOIR-FAIRE (Space Avionics Open Interface Architecture - Fair Architecture and Interface Reference Elaboration) working group for on-board software reference architectures.


The objectives pursued are the following:

  • Development of a complete and consistent specification of an OBSW-RA for spacecrafts (satellites and space exploration systems) in compliance with the ECSS standards E-ST-40C and Q-ST-80C.
  • Identification of a methodology, language and tools for the implementation of the OBSW-RA.
  • Validation of the specification of the OBSW-RA through a dedicated case study.
  • Definition of the OBSW-RA and the identification of interfaces and main constituents.
  • Active support for ESA technical officer in the context of the SAVOIR working group on OBSW-RA and the PUS working group.

The On-Board Software Reference Architecture is a single, agreed and common solution for the definition of the software architecture of on-board software systems.

The whole idea of this architecture (in terms of its constituting elements, the relationships among them, and its founding principles) is useful to its intended user community in so far as it reflects fundamental and stable notions. To this end, the approach to the design of the OBSW-RA in COrDeT-2 is sustained by fundamental concepts: Component-Based Software Engineering (CBSE) and Model Driven Engineering (MDE) as software development methodology, in addition to separation of concerns and automatic model transformation, both applied in the Model-Driven Architecture, the best known MDE initiative.


COrDeT-2 study started in September 2010. The study involves four major activities:

Currently, all the activities are completed. The COrDeT-2 Final Review was held at Estec on November 7th/8th, 2012.

COrDeT-2 final results were presented during the "Final Presentation Days" event that was held at Estec on December 5th/6th, 2012.

During this event, the following videos were presented to show the COrDeT-2 Development Framework. The toolset fully understands the OBSW-RA and its internal organization. NEW!

  • Basic steps necessary to start working with COrDeT-2 toolset. It covers from the creation of SCM projects, models, libraries, modelling sessions to the configuration of the toolset.
    [ video ]

  • Generation of a small project. "OBEO Designer Editor for SCM" provides 7 viewpoints with a set of diagrams and tables.
    [ video ]

  • Usage of "SCM to TASTE" transformation engine to produce the binary executables.
    [ video ]

  • Execution of the application developed using COrDeT-2 toolset.
    [ video ]