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Concurrent Design Facility

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Title: Concurrent Design Facility  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: European Space Research and Technology Centre, European Space Agency, European eXPErimental Re-entry Testbed, Proba-3, Planetary Science Archive
Collection: European Space Agency, Noordwijk, Spaceflight
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Concurrent Design Facility

The Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is the European Space Agency main assessment center for future space missions and industrial review. Located at ESTEC, ESA's technical center in Noordwijk in The Netherlands, it has been operational since early 2000.

As suggested by its name, the CDF uses concurrent engineering methodology to perform effective, fast and cheap space mission studies. Equipped with a state-of-the-art network of computers, multimedia devices and software tools, the CDF allow team of experts to perform design studies during working sessions.


  • Activities 1
    • Current main activities 1.1
    • List of Assessment Studies 1.2
    • List of Reviews 1.3
  • Facility 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The CDF is mainly in charge of performing the assessment studies of future missions for the European Space Agency. These assessment studies are phase 0 or pre-phase A studies where the needs are identified and Mission Analysis is performed. Phase 0 allows the following:[1]

  • Identification and characterisation of the intended mission.
  • Expression in terms of needs, expected performance and dependability and safety goals.
  • Assessment of operating constraints, in particular as regards the physical and operational environment.
  • Identification of possible system concepts, with emphasis on the degree of innovation and any critical aspect.
  • Preliminary assessment of project management data (organisation, costs, schedules).

In addition, the CDF often perform reviews of industrial contracts initiated by ESA. Last but not least, the CDF has been used for several occasions for Tiger team activities as well as for the preparation of project documentation (such as Invitation To Tender, Statement of work and System Requirements Specification).

Current main activities

In addition of the "normal" studies, the CDF is currently being used as the assesement center for the ESA Cosmic Vision program.

List of Assessment Studies

A list of assessment studies accomplished by the CDF is:[2]

Year Title Customer
2009 Nanosat DTEC/GSP
IXO Telescope DSRE/GSP
Automated Identification System (AIS) ESA Telecomms
MoonSAV ESA Human Space Flight/GSP
MoonNext DSR ESA Human Space Flight/GSP
Meteron ESA OPS
2008 Mars Electric Propulsion(MEP) DTEC/GSP
Marco Polo - Near Earth Object ESA Science/GSP
Euclid - Dark Energy Study ESA Science/GSP
AirQualSat - Model (AQS) DTEC/GSP
SPICA/SAFARI Telescope ESA Science/GSP
XEUS - Xray Telescope ESA Science/GSP
LaPlace - Jupiter Moons Study ESA Science/GSP
Tandem - Two Probe Mission to Titan ESA Science/GSP
Space Exploration Architecture ESA Human Spaceflight
Sentinel 5 Precursor EOP/GSP
Slush - Densified Propellant Launchers
Xray Telescope (IXO) ESA Science/GSP
Accurate EOP/GSP
2007 Air Traffic Management Demonstration Payload (ATMDP) Telecom/GSP
System-on-Chip (SoC) DTEC/GSP
Near Earth Object Monitoring(SANCHO) ESA Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Jupiter Radiation Study (JURA) ESA Science
Cosmic Microwave Polarisation Mapper(CMPM) ESA Science
Comsat for Air Traffic Management (IRIS) TEN-A
Lunar Sample Return (LSR) ESA Human Spaceflight
Mars Technology Demonstrator (MARSNeXT) ESA Human Spaceflight
Near Earth Object Review (DQS) ESA Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion (NUM) LAU-PAD/GSP
Vegetation Gap Filler (VGT) DTEC/GSP
Transiting Exoplanet Survey- PLATO (Cosmic Vision) ESA Science/GSP
Earth Plasma Study - Cross Scale (Cosmic Vision) ESA Science/GSP
Space Exploration Architecture (AES) ESA Human Spaceflight
2006 RAM Electric Propulsion (RAM EP) DTEC/GSP
In Orbit Demonstrator(IOD) DTEC/GSP
European Student Moon Orbiter(ESMO) ESA/GSP
Small Geostationary Telecommunication Satellite(SGEO) ESA/TEC Telecommunications
Configuration REvisit Targeting Europa (CRETE) ESA Science
Wireless Technology for Spacecraft(WiFLY) DTEC/GSP
Long Term Cryogenic Propulsion (LTCP) DTEC/GSP
Far Infrared Interferometer(FIRI) ESA Science
Wide Field Interferometer(WFI) ESA Science
Cross-Track Scanner Microwave Radiometer (XMWR) ESA Earth Observation
2005 Lunar Robotic Mission (LES 3) ESA Exploration
Jupiter Entry Probe (JEP) ESA Science
Formation Flying (PROBA 3) DTEC/GSP
Space Alternative Energy Storage Systems (SPAESS) Advanced Concepts Team
VEGA 1 Payload DLAU, DTEC & Education
Near Earth Objects (NEO2 [1]) Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Lunar Cargo Transport System (LES CTS) ESA Exploration
BeagleNet ESA Exploration
Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) ESA Launchers/GSP
2004 Near-Earth Objects Precursor Mission (NEO1 [2]) ESA Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Lunar Exploration Study 1 (LES) ESA Exploration
Atmospheric Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) ESA Human Spaceflight
Mars DemoLander 2 (MDL) ESA GSP
X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy 2 (XEUS) ESA Science
X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy 1 (XEUS) ESA Science
Sub mm Wave Instrument (SWI) ESA GSP/Technical Directorate
Europa Low Resource Radar (ELRR) ESA Science
Mars DemoLander 1 (MDL) ESA GSP
VEGA evolution with electric propulsion (E-VEGA) ESA Technical Directorate/Launchers/GSP
ExoMars Phase B preparation - Specifications ESA Aurora
Solar Orbiter 2 - Composite option pre-assessment ESA Science
Human Spaceflight Vision (HSV) - European man-tended Moon base ESA Human Spaceflight
Socrates - Reusable launcher demonstrator ESA Launchers
Human Missions to Mars ESA Aurora
2003 International Microgravity Plasma Facility (IMPACT) ESA Human Spaceflight
AeroCapture Demonstrator Earth and Mars ESA Aurora
Mars Sample Return ESA Aurora
Mars Network Science - Probe network on Mars surface ESA Science
Crew Transportation Vehicle (CTV) - Soyuz design enhacement ESA Human Spaceflight
Crew Transportation Vehicle (CTV) - Model and validation ESA GSP
P Band Sounder Instrument design for Antartica (P-Sounder) - First CDF IDA ESA Earth Observation
2002 ISS Droplet Combustion Insert (DCI) - Support to industrial Phase A ESA Human Spaceflight
Rosita - Telescope accommodation outside Columbus module ESA Human Spaceflight
EXOMARS 09 DM - Mars Exobiology Descent Module ESA Aurora
EXOMARS 09 - A second Mars Exobiology mission design ESA Aurora
BepiColombo All-SEPM Delta Study - Reaching Mercury with electric propulsion ESA Science
Mars Exobiology - European mission to search for life on Mars ESA Aurora
2001 ISS Dusty Plasma Facility - Support to industrial Phase A ESA Human Spaceflight
EUROPA - Preliminary assessment ESA GSP
Space Weather - Three elements service monitoring the solar-terrestrial environment ESA GSP/Technical Directorate
Ocean Earth Watch - Operational mission for ocean and coastal zone monitoring ESA Earth Observation
2000 Hyper Precision Atom Interferometry in Space ESA Science
STORMS - 3x Constellation for Magnetosphere Storms ESA Science
MASTER - Mars and Asteroid Mission ESA Science
Eddington - Stellar Physics and Planet Finder Telescope ESA Science
World Space Observatory (WSO/UV) ESA Science
Mercury Surface Element (MeSE) ESA Science
Meteo Imager Sounder Satellite (MISS) ESA Earth Observation/Eumetsat
1999 Solar Orbiter - Study of the Sun and Inner Heliosphere ESA Science
Central European Satellite for Advanced Research (CESAR'99) Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)

List of Reviews

Year Title Customer
2006 Don Quijote Mid-Term Review DTEC/GSP
Review of Europa Industrial Studies (REIS) ESA Science
2004 PASTEUR - Industrial Phase A mid term review ESA Aurora
Mars Sample Return (MSR) - Industrial Phase A mid term review ESA Aurora
Human Mission Russian review ESA Aurora
ExoMars - Industrial Phase A mid term review ESA Aurora
Entry Vehicle Demonstrator (EVD) review ESA Aurora
2003 KEO review ESA GSP
2002 BepiColombo - Review of industrial studies ESA Science
Mars Exobiology - Review of the Babakin Study ESA Aurora
2001 Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP) - Review of industrial study ESA Science
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) - Review of industrial study ESA Science
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna - Review of the industrial study ESA Science


The CDF design room has been designed and equipped with all the relevant hardware and software tools, with the aim of creating an effective communication and data interchange environment among team members.

The CDF facility contains:

  • an array of design stations, each dedicated to a specific technical discipline
  • data and application servers, providing on-line access to design data and tools
  • a multimedia wall containing three large projector screens (One of them been a SMART Board for free hand drawing)
  • video-conferencing equipment that enables concurrent engineering to be carried out in a distributed manner
  • integrated design model CDF-IDM, which will be replaced in the near future by the Open Concurrent Design Server

See also


  1. ^ ECSS–M–30A
  2. ^ "Studies/Reviews / CDF / Space Engineering / Our Activities / ESA".  

External links

  • ESA CDF website [3]
  • CDF published reports [4]
  • RHEA Group RHEA Group / Concurrent Design Engineering
  • J-CDS JAQAR Concurrent Design Services
  • DLR System Analysis and Space Segments
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