ECSS discipline E-50 Communications (May 2023)


The engineering Standards in the E-50 discipline address the communications links used during either spacecraft operations (i.e. space-to-ground and space-to-space or during spacecraft assembly, integration and test, and operational phases). The course addresses the first set of (defined or adopted) standards for Space Data Links focusing on the lowest layers of the OSI model including Psychical and Data Link Layer. The following standards will be covered:

  • ECSS-E-ST-50C Rev.1 – Communications (1 March 2021)
  • ECSS-E-AS-50-22C – Adoption Notice of CCSDS 132.0-B-2 TM Space Data Link Protocol (1 March 2021)
  • ECSS-E-AS-50-23C – Adoption Notice of CCSDS 732.0-B-3 AOS Space Data Link Protocol (1 March 2021)
  • ECSS-E-AS-50-24C – Adoption Notice of CCSDS 231.0-B-3 TC Synchronization and Channel Coding (1 March 2021)
  • ECSS-E-AS-50-25C – Adoption Notice of CCSDS 232.0-B-3 TC Space Data Link Protocol (1 March 2021)
  • ECSS-E-AS-50-26C – Adoption Notice of CCSDS 232.1-B-2 Communications Operation Procedure-1 (1 March 2021)
  • ECSS-E-ST-50-02C – Ranging and Doppler tracking (31 July 2008)
  • ECSS-E-ST-50-05C Rev.2 – Radio frequency and modulation (4 October 2011)


The course does not cover the ECSS E-50 standards for on-board communications (ECSS-E-ST-50-11C, ECSS-E-ST-50-12C, ECSS-E-ST-50-13C, ECSS-E-ST-50-14C, ECSS-E-ST-50-15C, ECSS-E-ST-50-51C, ECSS-E-ST-50-52C, and ECSS-E-ST-50-53C).



Provide a basic understanding and explain the rationale behind key requirements in the ECSS E-50 discipline.



ESA retired staff member


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Last updated: Friday, 10 March 2023 - 14:04 (CET)