Because good research needs good data

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Expanded name

Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems

Date of establishment


URL [external]


The CCSDS originated as a multi-national forum for the discussion of common space communications issues and was founded by the world\'s major space agencies. Today, leading space communications experts from 28 nations meet regularly to develop the most well-engineered space data handling standards in the world with the aim of enhancing governmental and commercial interoperability and cross-support, while also reducing risk, development time and project costs.

Areas of Activity

CCSDS actively develops Recommendations for data and information systems standards to:

  • reduce the cost to the various agencies of performing common data functions by eliminating unjustified project-unique design and development
  • promote interoperability and cross support among cooperating space agencies to reduce operations costs by sharing facilities


CCSDS Participants are classified in one of four categories: Member Agency, Observer Agency, Liaison and Associate. Each category has a different level of participation and commitment.

  1. A Member Agency is a governmental or quasi-governmental organization that fully participates in all CCSDS activities and provides a commensurate level of support. Member Agencies have CCSDS voting rights, which are exercised through Member Agency Representatives who make up the CCSDS Management Council (CMC).
  2. An Observer Agency is a governmental or quasi-governmental organization that participates in CCSDS activities at a reduced level of support. Individuals from the Observer Agencies are invited to participate as technical experts.
  3. A Liaison Organisation is governmental or private activities with developmental programs in the areas of space-related data and information systems. When Liaison participation occurs, it usually will be focused on a particular subject of interest to the Liaison organization as opposed to standing involvement, which is not precluded.
  4. Associates are scientific and industrial entities desiring a formal tie with the CCSDS, allowing them to more closely monitor and possibly influence the technical document development process.