Open Concurrent Design Server

Open Concurrent Design Server

The Open Concurrent Design Server (OCDS) is an initiative of the European Space Agency, ESA. The OCDS provides the building blocks of a Concurrent, Collaborative and Distributed Engineering for the European Space Industry, using Open Standards Information Models and Reference Libraries.

The OCDS is the vehicle to distribute ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility Concurrent Design methodology and a set of tools to the Space industry, organisations and academia. At the same time it distributes an open data exchange standard for early phase space system engineering and design activities described in the ECSS-E-TM-10-25.

The OCDS helps the European Space Community to:

  • Increase Data Management Capabilities, including Life Cycle Data Management
  • Support the information longevity objective
  • Achieve a hardware and software independent solution
  • Optimise the design process
  • Consolidate Design Models in a repository based on open standards
  • Improve communication to Contractors and partners, using Open and publicly available standards (e.g. ISO, ECSS, ….)
  • Streamline the communications to other ESA corporate applications using model based integration
  • Connect data to product assurance (PA/QA) activities.


Industrial Consortium

The OCDS is being developed under ESA contract by a Consortium led by DNV with the support of EPMT, Daysha, and Critical as subcontractors.


ECSS-E-TM-10-25 "System Engineering - Engineering Design Model Data Exchange (CDF)" is a Technical Memorandum under the E-10 "System engineering" branch in the ECSS series of standards, handbooks and technical memoranda.

The Scope statement of ECSS-E-TM-10-25A defines its purpose: This Technical Memorandum facilitates and promotes common data definitions and exchange among partner Agencies, European space industry and institutes, which are interested to collaborate on concurrent design, sharing analysis and design outputs and related reviews. This comprises a system decomposition up to equipment level and related standard lists of parameters and disciplines. Further it provides the starting point of the space system life cycle defining the parameter sets required to cover all project phases, although the present Technical Memorandum only addresses Phases 0 and A.


This Technical Memorandum is intended to evolve into an ECSS Standard in the near future. For the time being, it is not yet possible to establish a standard that has the maturity and industrial validation required for application in new or running space projects. In conjunction with related development and validation activities, this Technical Memorandum should be regarded as a mechanism for reaching consensus prior to building the standard itself.

The TM provides the basis for:

Creating interoperable Concurrent Design (CD) centres across the European space community. Allowing semantically consistent data exchange between CD centres. Enabling and supporting joint real-time collaborative design activities involving multiple CD centres. The initial objective of the TM is thus to act as a reference for the creation of new CD centres or upgrade of existing ones. Some of the already existing CD centres have based their process and data model on the current ESA CDF IDM (v.6.11 or v.6.14), which has been adopted by many space organizations. The ESA CDF IDM was also used as a basis for OCDS. Full agreement on the contents of the TM is required in order to obtain interoperable CD centres. This implies the following.

  • The naming and meaning of concepts and terms must be standardized to achieve semantic interoperability.
  • The next objective is to allow automated data exchange between CD centres, which in addition to semantics also requires syntactic interoperability, i.e. agreement on common syntax, or use of automated translators.
  • The ultimate objective is to allow real time collaboration, which in addition to standardized semantics and syntax, also requires organizational interoperability of work processes and project models.

ECSS-E-TM-10-25A comprises the following parts:

  • Clause 1: Scope
  • Clause 2: Normative references
  • Clause 3: Terms, definitions and abbreviated terms
  • Clause 4: Background and concepts
    • Includes the description of the Space Engineering Information Model (SEIM), a conceptual data model for all information needed to conduct concurrent design sessions
    • Includes the description of the Space Engineering Reference Data Library (SERDL), an agreed collection of concurrent design organization roles, process concepts, disciplines and parameter types. These are predefined instances of SEIM concepts.
  • Clause 5: A list of requirements that two or more parties that want to exchange data for a concurrent design activity shall comply with.
  • Annex A: The formal definition of the Space Engineering Information Model (SEIM).
  • Annex B: The formal definition of the Space Engineering Reference Data Library (SERDL).
  • Annex C: The formal definition of the Web Services Interface.
  • Annex D: An informative description of margins and reference frames.

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