Established Space Communications Standards Organization CCSDS Gets a Makeover


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WASHINGTON, March 1 (CCSDS) The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) today unveiled the result of a year long image overhaul to the general public. Participants got a sneak-peak at the organization's new look a week ago when registration opened for CCSDS' bi-annual working group meetings through a newly redesigned web site at www.CCSDS.org. It is the first all-new image change for the CCSDS since it was established in 1982 and it has been enthusiastically received thus far.

A new logo suite that heavily brands "CCSDS.org" complements the redesigned web site and is expected to increase visibility and recognition of CCSDS' web site address. Branding the .org also serves as a more accurate reflection of the way in which the CCSDS conducts business today. With worldwide participation that includes space communications experts from 28 countries, the CCSDS has grown into an e-forum where collaboration and information-sharing on standards development happens primarily online.

Twice a year, CCSDS experts meet face to face during week long technical working group sessions, sponsored this spring by the European Space Agency in Athens, Greece (April 6 - 15). But even in-person events have been improved by technological upgrades, with registration for the Athens meetings currently running through a newly optimized meeting registration system that was also part of the CCSDS makeover.

"The CCSDS was established over two decades ago as a forum where discussions about common space communications issues could occur on a global scale, but global at the time meant only the few founding member agencies and their representatives," said Dr. Jack Kelley of NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, also CCSDS General Secretary and Chair, CCSDS Management Council. "Today, communications experts from 28 countries and 32 space agencies, as well as private industry, work throughout the year to produce CCSDS' well-engineered space communications solutions, but as we've continued to grow, efficient collaboration has become its own challenge."

To overcome this collaboration challenge, the CCSDS image overhaul had to extend beyond the purely cosmetic. Practical upgrades were incorporated into the development plan along with aesthetic improvements.

Among these improvements, one will find a diversified new logo suite that features customizable full-color logos for online media and marketing collateral, as well as monochromatic and gradient logos that were developed for use on a variety of print publications. Visitors to CCSDS.org will note vibrant color schemes and updated graphics that are not only more interesting to look at, they create a fresh basis for a distinctive new site layout, enhanced navigation and access to expanded content.

In terms of a direct effect on better communication, the most valuable functional upgrade may be the creation of over 40 individualized online work areas that facilitate the ongoing collaborative efforts of CCSDS' many specialized technical groups.

"The working groups are the frontlines of the organization and where the most active users of CCSDS.org are concentrated, so we conducted targeted surveys and collected suggestions directly from them about how we might best improve CCSDS' online tools," said Mr. Brian Oliver, Manager, Web Development, CCSDS Secretariat Support in Dayton, Ohio. "When we sat down and compared actual needs to what we had, we decided that the best course of action we could take to enhance and promote collaboration within each group would be to develop an entirely new online tool."

This new tool is the CCSDS Collaborative Work Environment (CWE), and since its deployment just a few weeks ago, it has already seen an adoption rate of over 50% throughout the organization. The collaborative environment main page is accessible through the CWE logo located on the home page at CCSDS.org. Each password-protected area gives a CCSDS technical working group access to the following functionality:

  • Public / Private areas and document libraries
  • Online discussions
  • Calendar
  • Links webpart
  • Group contact information
  • Direct links to Mailman and DocuShare
  • Help desk
  • Advanced and site specific search capabilities, enabled by Google! Technologies

"We're very pleased with the new look of the CCSDS and anticipate that recent upgrades to our communication infrastructure will allow us to increase the efficiency of our standards development activities, as well as expand our international participant base going forward," said Dr. Kelley.

For more information on how to participate in CCSDS' space communications standards development activities or for information about the technical meetings in Athens, Greece, please visit CCSDS' redesigned online home at http://www.CCSDS.org.

About the CCSDS

Established in 1982 by the world's most influential space agencies, the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) provides well-engineered space data handling standards to enhance interoperability and cross-support, while also reducing risk, project cost and development time.

An international cooperative, the CCSDS is made up of leading space communications experts representing 28 countries, the organization's founding member space agencies, 22 observer space agencies and over 100 private companies. CCSDS' national member space agencies represent Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Russia, Canada and the United States, as well as the multi-national European Space Agency.

To date, more than 300 missions have chosen to fly with CCSDS protocols and the number continues to grow. For more information on participation or to access CCSDS standards and protocols free of charge, please visit http://www.CCSDS.org.

Contact for Members of the Press:

Penelope W. Walz
CCSDS Secretariat - Public Affairs
Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA
Tel - +1 301 474 5424
Fax - +1 301 474 5427
Mobile - + 1 571 235 1625
E-mail - penelope.walz@btas.com

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