Project Title

Unified Space Data Link Protocol Blue Book



Document Number



5.04 Space Link Protocols Working Group

Document Type


Description of Document

This project will develop the Next Generation Space Data Link Protocol, (NGSLP) blue book. It will contain the format, service, and primitives for high rate robotic and manned missions and consider the application profiles for the following links: future i.e., Direct to Earth (DTE), Direct from Earth (DFE), and Proximity Environments). See also the companion NGSLP GB project which addresses the concepts, rationale, requirements, and operational scenarios. The focus of this protocol is to meet the emerging needs of both manned and unmanned high rate missions. The high data rate targets for robotic missions for this protocol are on the order of 10 Gbit/sec downlink and 10 Mbit/sec uplink. The manned mission targets are on the order of 10-20 Gbit/sec downlink and 1 Gbit/sec uplink. The key drivers identified for this protocol are: 1) Given these higher data rate targets, it is clear that this new protocol must provide longer frames to make the frame handling processes more efficient than they currently are (given the current frame length limitations i.e., 2048 octets on the downlink and 1019 octets on the uplink). 2) Moreover it is clear that a longer frame sequence counter is required to enable unambiguous frame ordering from multiple downlinks. 3) There is a need to increase the spacecraft ID address space for the anticipated greater spacecraft population. 4) This protocol provides a path to deliver control directives with minimum latency: compatible with such applications as data rate and/or Coding and Modulation changes; and to provide short message low latency message delivery. Although desirable it is not required that a single universal format replace all of the existing CCSDS link layer protocols. This Protocol is targeted for agencies emerging missions, both human and robotic, which we anticipate will require higher performance (higher data rates and throughput) and operate with enhanced security. We define a new space data link layer protocol that is largely based upon the proven features of the existing CCSDS link protocols and adds options that can be used to tailor future mission link layer needs.

Applicable Patents

There are no patent issues for this technology that are known by the CCSDS community

Patent Comments

Survey of Similar Standards
Documents or Projects
Undertaken in Other Bodies
and elsewhere in CCSDS


Book Editor


Book Editor Resources

NASA will provide the book editor. 10 MM effort.

Prototype 1


Prototype 1 Resources

Initial Prototyping resources by DLR envisioned for late 2016/Early 2017 at the 3 to 8 MM level of effort initially.

Prototype 2


Prototype 2 Resources

Envisioned in the Mid to late 2017 timeframe from 3 to 8 MM.

Prototype 3

Prototype 3 Resources



Monitor Only


Resource Comments


Legend for Schedule Milestones
Orange Bullet = Required for Orange Books
Green Bullet = Required for Green Books
Magenta Bullet = Required for Magenta Books
Blue Bullet = Required for Blue Books
Note - Red Books are Draft Blue/Magenta Books

Schedule Milestones
Orange BookGreen BookMagenta BookBlue Book
Original Completion Date
(Date in M/D/YYYY format.)
(Date in M/D/YYYY format.)
Project ApprovedOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet4/14/2014CMC-P-2014-08-004 Confirmed by CNES delegate.
Project Start DateOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet10/15/2014
Internal WG Review
First Draft Circulated to WGOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet4/21/2014
First Draft Comments DueOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet5/19/2014
Second draft circulated to WGOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet10/27/2014
Second Draft Comments DueOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet2/16/2015
Final WB Submitted to AD for Further ProcessingOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet4/15/2015
External Milestones
Secretariat Document ProcessingOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet6/1/2015
First Agency ReviewMagenta BulletBlue Bullet8/2/2015
RID ResolutionMagenta BulletBlue Bullet10/2/2015
Secretariat Document Processing 2Magenta BulletBlue Bullet11/15/2015
Final Agency ReviewMagenta BulletBlue Bullet6/29/2016
RID ResolutionMagenta BulletBlue Bullet9/15/2016
First Prototype DevelopmentBlue Bullet6/15/2015
Second Prototype DevelopmentBlue Bullet3/14/2016
CMC ApprovalOrange BulletGreen BulletMagenta BulletBlue Bullet12/12/2016
Total Time to Complete
(in months)
Version: 580.0
Created at 11/11/2013 2:29 PM by Kazz Greg
Last modified at 2/7/2019 5:50 AM by Margherita di Giulio