The Airbus DS NL ESPRiT TM/TC Front End is a telemetry and telecommand processor which encodes TC packets to CLTUs and decodes CADUs to TM packets. Euclid, MetOp-SG, and Neosat have been using the ESPRiT TM/TC Front End system.

The system is used during satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT), verification, and pre-launch operations as it acts as a front-end in connecting for the Central Checkout System (CCS) or test supervisor software to the spacecraft via TCP/IP sockets.

Detailed health and status information for all electrical links and the components of the front-end are displayed in the Local GUI which offers full control functionality, enabling the system to be used without a CCS.

The TC packets are encoded into CLTUs and CADUs are decoded into TM packets. The system also features optically-isolated interfaces with two functionalities, connect and disconnect, to provide safety during connection to the flight hardware.

The system consists of an industrial PC with two hard drives in RAID-1 configuration running a Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

Key features

Electrical Features

  • Data processing is done in a reconfigurable FPGA
  • RS-422 and TTL I/O
  • Data, Clock, NRZ-L, and Biphase encoding/decoding
  • Optically-isolated I/O with connect/disconnect and overvoltage protection
  • Internal and external loopback for self-test
  • Automatic TM bit rate detection

Local GUI features

  • Real-time monitoring of TM and TC packets with overview of TM virtual channel activity including CLCW
  • Logging of TC and TM to disk, for offline analysis
  • CCSDS encoding/decoding process
  • Scripting and command line interface for full control
  • Modern scripting language, or directly from console


Customization of the system is possible.

Scalable to higher bandwidth and more parallel streams.

Flight heritage

The system has achieved flight heritage.

Euclid, MetOp-SG and Neosat has been using the ESPRiT TM/TC Front End system.

Testing & qualification

Compliant with ECSS-E-ST-50 and CCSDS.

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Last updated: 2021-09-22

ESPRiT TM/TC Front End



data rate
< 1.5 Mb/s
data interface


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