Amphinicy at ESAW 2017

Posted by Antonio Grudiček Monday, Jul 17, 2017
source: ESAW 2017 official web page (screenshot)

European Space Agency (ESA) hosted the 6th European Ground System Architecture Workshop (ESAW 2017) at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, 20-21 June 2017. ESAW provided an international forum for the exchange of ideas, results, new trends and practices in the ground segment for space missions.

Our four-member delegation attended the workshop to acquire new knowledge and contacts, as well as to present our products to new potential customers and partners. We submitted two posters: the first one describing our satellite data acquisition software “Blink”. It was entitled “EO Software Evolution: from Front End Processor to a CCSDS Swiss Knife” and the other one describing how we use GIS (Geographic Information System) technologies in our products was entitled “Solving modern mobility management and network visualisation with GIS tools”.

Amphinicy poster: "EO Software Evolution: from Front End Processor to a CCSDS Swiss Knife"

Amphinicy poster: “Solving modern mobility management and network visualisation with GIS tools”

All the major players in the space industry took part in the conference: ESA, NASA, SES, Airbus, CNES, DLR, GMV, Terma, ScisSys, Telespazio-Vega, RHEA Group, EUMETSAT, Solenix, L3, ATOS, The Aerospace Corporation, NOAA, Siemens, CGI and many others.

Almost 50 presentations were held and nearly 40 posters exposed during two days. The tempo of presentations was pretty fast, with the short 30-minute coffee breaks with poster and demo sessions after each series of presentations. It was interesting to hear what are the latest trends and cutting-edge technologies in the conservative space industry, especially because all presenters were space technology experts from the world-renowned organisations.

Some of the key themes and topics covered in the presentations were:

  • Model-based engineering
  • Service-oriented architectures
  • The architecture of back-end, archives, MCS (Mission Control System), SSA (Space Situational Awareness), IAP (Integrated Applications Promotion), EGSE (Electrical Ground Support Equipment), etc.
  • Ground systems “game-changing” approaches
  • Ground Software Systems including EGS-CC (European Ground System Common Core) and CNES ISIS
  • Data system harmonisation
  • Cloud computing
  • Virtualization   
  • Emerging disruptive and innovative technologies
  • Data systems security
  • Information assurance
  • Automation
  • Interoperability and standards

Posters and demo sessions were a great opportunity to promote our company and products, to attract new potential partners and customers and, of course, to see what the competition offers and what is our position on the market.

Personally, I found the ESAW workshop useful and very interesting for an engineer working in the space industry, although some presentations required advanced technical knowledge and experience, especially the ones containing many, very often similar, abbreviations. Of course, as a front-end developer, I liked front-end related topics the most. I was very pleased to see and hear which technologies and libraries are used by world-renowned companies in the field of interface design and development. We were able to see what the user interfaces look like, what are the challenges they usually face and how they solve those similar to ours, what we can improve to make our development process and products better and what we are possibly doing better already.

Slightly different from poster and demo sessions, the guided tour of ESOC complex and the dinner after the first day were a perfect opportunity to meet interesting people doing interesting work in a friendly and more relaxed atmosphere. It was exciting to exchange new ideas and learn something new from the experts from all over the world and make new contacts, as well as to talk about other topics, not necessarily about the space industry and business.

Attending ESAW 2017 was a great and exciting experience for me and I enjoyed and learned a lot. I'm glad I could visit one of the ESA’s central facilities and have a chance to listen to some of the world’s leading experts in the space industry. I hope to visit ESAW again!

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