European Space Agency

Harmonization of DVB-RCS Management and Control planes (HM&C)


 The Project "Harmonisation of DVB-RCS Management and Control Planes (HM&C)" is an initiative promoted and funded by ESA in the frame of ARTES. Its aim is to support SatLabs activities and specifically a SatLabs working group that has been recently set up to address the next step on harmonisation of management and control planes of DVB-RCS, including the incorporation of a Connection Control Protocol (C2P).

The rationale for this effort stems from the evidence that the current DVB-RCS standard EN 301 790 v1.4.1 does not develop the management and control plane functions and requirements  to their formal specifications. This will provide a full and harmonized interoperability among products, giving manufacturers the freedom to choose among different implementation options for the management and control planes. One aspect is that the current specification does not address the harmonisation between management and control plane, which is a key point to ensure interoperability between the traffic terminals and their control station(s) in a multi-supplier DVB-RCS system. Such completion and optimisation are needed in order to:

  • Optimise the costs of management and control plane functions;

  • Improve the communication mechanisms between network elements and the management paradigm;

  • Address in an homogeneous way several network architectures such as mesh transparent, regenerative, mesh regenerative, etc.;

  • Support emerging technologies (i.e. OBP, DVB-S2), applications/services (i.e. VoIP, mobility) and communications features (i.e. dynamic multicast, security, QoS support, address resolution, etc.);

  • Support scalable and open architectures.

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The aim of this activity is to support SatLabs and co-ordinate the next step for Management and Control of DVB-RCS systems.

The goal is to define and specify the solution for the Harmonisation of Control and Management planes over all DVB-RCS systems encompassing the aspects above (costs, support of emerging technologies, homogeneous architecture) in a way that minimises the changes to the DVB-RCS standard and ensures backward compatibility.


The specification of an homogeneous management and control architecture for DVB-RCS relies on interoperable management and control planes supported both at MAC and/or IP levels, between RCSTs and the Gateway.

Interoperability shall be achieved in the classical multi-vendor environment, under which the commercial success of the standard is being pushed. The objectives of any future M&C architecture definition and specification work should:

  • Be aligned with the current DVB-RCS standard and to any set of M&C specifications,
  • Keep RCST hardware and software implementation simple, thus more robust, resilient and cost effective,
  • Be proposed as an open solution, supported by open standards with sufficient wide technological base,
  • Promote the set of an evaluation framework for interoperability at the physical, MAC and control functionality.
This project has focused on these key aspects of the DVB-RCS system evolution, by defining harmonised management and control plane specifications for DVB-RCS networks in star/mesh, mono or multibeam, transparent / regenerative modes, with special attention to C2P-based DVB-RCS systems.

The specification of the homogeneous management and control architecture for DVB-RCS relied on interoperable management and control planes supported both at MAC and/or IP levels, between RCSTs and the NCC/Gateway and NMC. Special interest was given to ensure minimum cost and complexity in the terminal and the impact on the standard. The M&C specifications represent a smooth evolution from SatLabs system recommendations in order to accomplish the needs of new DVB-RCS network scenarios, trying to keep RCST hardware and software implementation simple, thus more robust, resilient and cost effective.

The reviewed definition of a new set of management functions (RMON, Syslog, MIB-II, AutomaticSWDL, Security, handover mobile, dynamic connectivity & routing, etc) and cont


Interoperability, i.e. the ability to operate terminals from different vendors in the same network, is a highly recommended feature enabling the evolution and commercial success of DVB-RCS systems. The current DVB-RCS standard focuses on interoperability at physical access and media access control level while its application at management and control plane level is not fully specified.

This work aims at bridging this gap by reporting harmonised management and control plane specifications. The proposed specifications, and the relevant management and control system architecture, are devised to support full interoperability among multi-vendor RCSTs operating in different DVB-RCS system scenarios (star/mesh/transparent/regenerative, mono/multi beam) implementing connection control by means of connection control protocol (C2P).

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The project has been organized as follows:

Task 1: Optimisation of management and control plane, including a cost analysis and management and control plane requirements based on the experience gained from existing networks development (SkyplexNet, AmerHis, A9780).

Task 2: Specification of management and control plane including UML diagrams.
Special attention is given to the Connection Control Protocol (C2P) specification. This specification includes the protocol state machines, the connection control procedures (considering successful and unsuccessful scenarios), and the C2P messages formatting.

The management and control functions critical for interoperability (based on protocol message exchange for the interface between RCST-NCC/NMC) are defined thanks to UML diagrams. UML (Unified Modelling Language) notation is a graphical language for visualization, specifying, constructing, and documenting the artefacts of a software intensive system.

Task 3: Interoperability Outline Test Plan (OTP)
Interoperability Outline Test Plan (OTP) for the Management Plane and Control Plane includes the test cases which need to be performed to ensure the interoperability of SatLabs Group EEIG recommended DVB-RCS terminals with respect to the harmonized management and control plane specifications provided in the frame of the HM&C Artes 1 project.

Task 4: Control plane detailed design
The aim of this Task was the specification of the control plane functions which are critical for interoperability, in other words, that require a protocol message exchange. This is done by UML and the generation of the methods, attributes, procedures and the inter objects dependencies using pseudo-coding (C++). Especial attention was paid to the C2P solution, as result of this task, the code of the protocol that can be made available for the Satellite community through ESA / SatLabs group for future C2P implementations.

Current status

Task 1 review was successfully accomplished. The result of this work was presented at the AIAA ICSSC conference in Seoul (April 2007) and to the SatLabs working group.

Task 2 with the specifications on control and management plane, including C2P specification were available mid July 2007.  This specification will include UML models that will show the validity of the solution proposed.  

A paper has been prepared with these results and was presented at the 13th Ka band conference held in Turin.

Tasks 3 and 4 were successfully finished in November 2007.

Status date

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 17:54