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Mission Control Systems

Terma is a leading European supplier of ground system software solutions to support satellite missions. Terma has worked with all system components and associated processes for managing, monitoring, and controlling satellites.


Terma took a leading role in developing SCOS-2000 (Spacecraft Control and Operations System), the control system used by the European Space Agency. Subsequently, Terma has developed mission control systems based on SCOS-2000 both for ESA/ESOC and commercial customers.

Terma were responsible for all releases of the product up to and including Release 3.1, and more recently also the Release 5.4. Coupled with this, Terma led the porting of the system from Solaris to a dual source Solaris/Linux code base. This opened up the market to the product significantly – almost all commercial sales of the product have been on Linux platforms. The first dual source release was 2.3.

Specific Mission Control Systems implemented by Terma include:

  • BepiColombo
  • Herschel/Planck
  • MSG-1, 2 and 3 LEOP
  • Radarsat-2
  • Agile
  • SMART-1
  • Integral
Terma has supplied the mission control system for the Planck mission (image courtesy: ESA)


The SCOS-2000 (Spacecraft Control and Operations System) is a state-of-the-art, satellite control infrastructure designed to serve the satellite community at the start of the 21st century.

Upgrading or installing a new satellite control infrastructure represents a significant investment by the user. SCOS-2000 provides an excellent platform for protecting this investment even when the user operates with a 20+ year projected system lifetime.

In addition to Spacecraft Control Systems based on SCOS-2000, Terma also provides test systems – known as Central Checkout Systems that are compatible with SCOS-2000. This facilitates the transferring of data – primarily TM/TC definitions (also known as the Satellite reference Data Base or SRDB), which brings benefits to the satellite operator.

In addition, Terma are able to support the product with a comprehensive training material.

Terma has supplied the mission control system for the Herschel mission (image courtesy: ESA)


ESA's control room at ESOC (image courtesy: ESA)

The SCOS-2000 system provides functions typical of a modern spacecraft control system.

It is compliant with the CCSDS and ESA standards for Packet Telemetry and Packet Telecommands. It also implements many of the higher level services defined by the ESA Packet Utilization Standard. It is able to talk to all ESA ground stations and any other ground stations that use the CCSDS Space Link Extension (SLE) protocol.

The functions included in the system include:

  • Telemetry Monitoring
  • Telecommand Sending and Monitoring
  • Archiving
  • Retrieval tools
  • Ground Station Interfacing
  • On Board Software Management
  • Redundancy Management
  • User Management

The system has a comprehensive and intuitive MMI. Displays include:

  • Alphanumeric, scrolling and graphic displays for telemetry parameters
  • Telemetry packet displays
  • Mimic diagrams – also for telemetry parameters
  • Windows for Manual and Automatic release of telecommands
  • Out of Limits Displays
  • Log displays

Since Release 5 an Automation component has been added.
The system also provides tools to maintain and import the TM/TC Data Base.

The system can run on a single workstation or a more comprehensive set of workstations and servers, depending on the needs of each mission. The system can be “right sized” for a particular need.