European Space Agency

NTB DVB-RCS Next Generation Support and Verification Testbed


The original objective of this activity was to design and develop a software-only based Testbed implementing and fully validating key functions of the DVB-RCS2 standard.

The Testbed design and implementation should provide manufacturers and researchers with a validated reference design of DVB-RCS2 sub-systems implementing key RCS2 functions. The reference design focuses on the RCS2 terminal functions. The hub functionality is emulated as required for the validation of the terminal functions.

As an extension to the original contract, the testbed is upgraded to include also the physical layer, on the forward as well as the return link.

The reference design should be made available to RCS terminal manufacturers. The project should also provide feedback on the RCS2 standard and the RCS2 Guidelines documents to the TM-RCS group.



The RSC2 standard and RCS2 Guidelines documents had not reached stable versions at the early phases of the project. Many questions came up at the detailed level that were not yet well covered in the documents.

Also, working in a distributed environment, with different operating systems, caused additional challenges (but finally resulted in a more flexible solution).


The Testbed is designed and implemented to provide manufacturers and researchers with a validated reference design of DVB-RCS2 sub-systems implementing key functions. The reference design mainly focuses on the RCS2 terminal functions.

The test bed allows validation of the DVB-RCS2 protocol and functionality, including real-time operation.

One of the major outputs of the project is a DVB-RCS2 terminal reference design covering higher layers and lower layers, and after phase 2 also includes the physical layer. The modular architecture allows to extract the modules of interest and use them in real terminal implementations.



  • Provides a tool for emulating a full DVB-RCS2 system that can be used to test all the new functionalities of DVB-RCS2.
  • It can be operated in IP mode, with software emulating the physical layers, or after conclusion of phase 2, in PHY mode, with physical layer included.
  • The testbed is operated through a number of testcases, each focusing on particular RCS2 features. This provides a controlled and repeatable test environment
  • It is able to emulate a network with a large number of terminals (3 real + fake terminals, whose traffic is generated by the background traffic generator)
  • It is able to support a large number of services, because of the support of IPv4 and v6 in both unicast and multicast transmission mode


Block diagram of the DVB-RCS Next Generation Testbed



The main milestones in the project are:

Meeting, milestone


Testbed Requirements Review


Preliminary Design Review


Critical Design Review


 Testbed Acceptance Review


Final review


Final Presentation




Baseline requirements Review


Preliminary Design Review


Critical Design Review


Acceptance Test and Final Presentation


Current status

The project was started in June 2011. Final Review for phase 1 (software based only) was completed in July 2013.

Second phase, to include physical layer into the setup, was started in April 2015, and is planned completed in April 2016.


Status date

Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 11:27