Implementation of the Common Test House for DVB-RCS Terminals

Status date

The objective of this project is to support the DVB-RCS technology on its way to a suitable, market-oriented and well-developed data transmission technique. This support is provided to the SatLabs Group which has been established around ESA/ESTEC DVB-RCS activities.

This project is to be seen as a long term project which reacts to the evolvements of the DVB-RCS market as well as new developments in the DVB-RCS standardisation bodies. The aim is to enforce DVB-RCS terminal compliance and interoperability by establishing a SatLabs Qualification Program (SQP). This activity contains several actions which are completed from time to time by further steps, especially when new requirements evolve from the SatLabs definitions.
The activities at a glance:

  • Support of interoperability testing in the short-term, involving the systems available in the market today (completed),
  • Support of DVB-RCS basic compliance and support of interoperability in the longer term including the evolutions of the present systems and others which are under development or planned (completed),
  • The establishment of the SatLabs Qualification Program with respect to the procedural as well as the contractual aspects, including the registration of the SatLabs Logo/Mark on different market places (completed),
  • Validation of the Common-Test-Bed for DVB-RCS (provided in another ESA/ESTEC project),
  • Development, implementation and validation of test cases ensuring a powerful SatLabs Qualification Program (completed).

ESA/SatLabs will be supported in the preparation of test plans and procedures, the specification of test equipment and the realisation of tests for interoperability and compliance. The implementation plan also includes the support of the development of test equipment for interoperability and compliance testing.

Initially the basic interoperability of DVB-RCS systems was the focus of the project. However, systems evolved during the past years. Hence, the requirements for interoperability were to be aligned with the actual market developments. Currently, the SatLabs Qualification Program is entering its phase 2 in which - beside the basic interoperability - also addresses features like DVB-S2 (in the forward channel), Quality of Service (QoS), a harmonised management and control plane (HM&C) and performance related features (I-PEP).

For each of these features new test cases are developed in the course of this project. The implementation of this new set of test cases and their validation on the on the Common-Test-Bed (developed under another ESA/ESTEC project) are also part of this project.


Main benefits are:


  • Enforcement of all involved parties to make RCST interoperability and compliance testing possible,
  • Set-up of a Common Test House for DVB-RCS compliance and interoperability testing,
  • Establishment of a proprietary certification system for DVB-RCS systems such as the Bluetooth or WIFI certification system for WLAN-applications (Compliance labelling),
  • To ensure interoperability, open the market for other system manufacturers and strengthen the position of DVB-RCS systems on the market, all manufacturers will be influenced to develop and perform their DVB-RCS systems close to the standard,
  • To ensure the attractiveness of the activity by following new features when specified in various standardisation bodies.

A System Architecture is not applicable for this project.

  • Provision of a short-term interoperability program (completed 2002),
  • Establishment of the SatLabs Qualification Program (completed July 2005),
  • Development of the Test Plans for the SQPv1 for basic interoperability (completed May 2005),
  • Implementation of the Test Plans for the SQPv1 (completed July 2005),
  • Development of the Test Plans for the SQPv2 for enhanced interoperability including features like DVB-S2, QoS, HM&C, I-PEP (completed Q2 2008),
  • Implementation of the Test Plans for the SQPv2 (completed June 2009).
Current status
  • The test and certification program for DVB-RCS systems according to SQPv1 and SQPv2 has been implemented,
  • The project was completed in Q3, 2009.