The European Ground Systems – Common Core (EGS-CC) is a European initiative to develop a common infrastructure to support space systems monitoring and control in pre- and post-launch phases for all mission types. This is expected to bring a number of benefits, such as the seamless transition from spacecraft Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) to mission operations, reduce cost and risk, support the modernisation of legacy systems and promote the exchange of ancillary implementations across organizations. The initiative is being performed as collaboration between ESA, European National Agencies and European Industry.
Within Europe there are many different systems for monitoring and control used by companies/agencies for space system operations and Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT). Some of these systems are common to both operations and AIT, while some are specific. Often multiple systems are used in AIT of a space system by different companies or at different levels (e.g. payload/system) or in different phases. Many of these existing systems have reached or are reaching their end of life. The systems are often using old software technologies and hardware platforms that are difficult to modernise. The maintenance and evolution costs are therefore becoming excessively complex with time. The compatibility/exchange of information with other systems is also often difficult leading to little synergy across missions and project phases. Given the difficulties mentioned above, during 2009-2010, the European Space Agency (ESA) discussed with large European System Integrators, including AIRBUS Defence and Space, Thales Alenia Space (France and Italy) and OHB System, the possibility of a collaboration to develop a European Ground Systems Common Core (EGS-CC) which would provide a common infrastructure to support space systems monitoring and control in pre- and post-launch phases. The French and German national space agencies, CNES and DLR also signalled their desire to join the initiative and a Memorandum of Understanding was finalised in support of the EGS-CC initiative.
The objective of the EGS-CC is to develop a common infrastructure to support space systems monitoring and control in pre- and post-launch phases for all mission types. This is expected to bring a number of benefits, including: