The objective of the Spacecraft Onboard Interface Services (SOIS) area is to address the services and protocols used by communication networks within a spacecraft and within close proximity of the spacecraft. These are applicable to the core spacecraft platform as well as to the interfaces with both internal and external payloads and extra-vehicular activities. SOIS also covers the use of wireless technology for ground, space and planetary surface communication within the spacecraft and within close proximity to the spacecraft.

The long-term goal of the SOIS area is to encourage the standardization of interfaces and on-board data exchange mechanisms such that spacecraft building blocks, which may range from individual sensors and actuators to complete units, may be developed and utilized with minimum or no change.

As part of this objective, the way in which spacecraft device and interface information is presented is being analyzed and standards are being proposed for specifying such information in electronic, machine-readable format. This aspect is intended to reduce the effort required for spacecraft development and testing by automating the process of code generation and database import. The area will also evaluate other opportunities which may benefit from international standards. 

The SOIS area needs to coordinate the following: 

  • the seamless extension of CCSDS SLS and SIS into the spacecraft by developing and deploying standardized onboard data communication services and data exchange mechanisms;
  • the use of terrestrial wireless technology 
  • the seamless coupling of SOIS with the ground services defined by the MOIMS area;
  • the definition of an architecture interface standardization (SEA), following also in particular the European initiatives European Coordination for Space Standardization (ECSS), SAVOIR (Space Avionics Open Interface Architecture) and relevent U.S. architecture groups. (NASA's Core Flight System (cFS) and Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) ).
  • the adoption of SEA security recommended standards and practices;
  • the SANA recommended practices for registries and repositories.

The strategic goals of the SOIS area are presented below.


​Encourage the standardization of onboard interfaces and data exchange to enable unit, device, and software component interoperability and reuse across missions.​


​Define recommended practices for onboard wireless communications for low, medium and high-rate applications.​


​Define Electronic Data Sheets (EDS) recommended practices for onboard components (hardware and software) including XML schemas and common dictionary of terms. Promote EDS use as a means to specify onboard components and provide for the exchange of interface definitions between mission developers, manufacturers and systems integrators. Promote EDS use as a means to specify "as built" operational interfaces for common onboard services and protocols.