The Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is the European Space Agency main assessment center for future space missions and industrial review. Located at ESTEC, ESA's technical center in Noordwijk in The Netherlands, it has been operational since early 2000.

As suggested by its name, the CDF uses concurrent engineering methodology to perform effective, fast and cheap space mission studies. Equipped with a state-of-the-art network of computers, multimedia devices and software tools, the CDF allows teams of experts to perform design studies during working sessions.[not verified in body]


The CDF is mainly in charge of performing the assessment studies of future missions for the European Space Agency. These assessment studies are performed in the early phases of mission and spacecraft design; the so-called "Phase 0" or "Pre-phase A" of the ESA Project Phases[1] in which needs are identified and Mission Analysis is performed.

Phase 0 focusses the following:[2]

Current main activities

In addition to the "normal" studies, the CDF is currently[when?] being used as the assessment center for the ESA Cosmic Vision program.[citation needed]

List of assessment studies

A list of assessment studies accomplished by the CDF is:[3]

Year Title Customer Online Report
2016 ALASCC - Assessment of Airborne Launch of Spacecraft Constellation LAU/GSP
SHAME - Assessment of Space Hardware Advanced Manufacturing Engineering TEC/GSP
MSR Carrier - Mars Sample Return Carrier Mission HRE/GSP
EHEV - Assessment of European Human Exploration Vehicle HRE
COUPLED - SysNova Concept Study of CubeSat Opportunity Payload Internetworking Sensors (COPINS) GSP
AIM PRR - Combined Industrial Preliminary Requirements Review GSP
AIM iSRR - Combined Industrial Intermediate System Requirements Review GSP
2015 SpectroCube - NanoSat Astrobiology/Chemistry mission for HEO GSP
Global-V - Instrument study for future Chinese Space Mission BELSPO
CTH-B - Cis Lunar Transfer Habitat Bus HSO/GSP
SMILE - Assessment of Payload Module for Joint ESA/CAS Mission SRE/GSP
XIPE - Assessment of X-ray Telescope Mission as part of Cosmic Vision M-Class Selection SRE/GSP
HAPI - SysNova Winner - Atmospheric Measurement of Nitrogen Dioxide using Nanosatellite Constellation GSP
ORORO - SysNova Winner - Radio Occultation and Reflectometry with Nanosatellite Constellation GSP
ARIEL - Assessment of Infrared Exoplanet Large Survey Mission as part of Cosmic Vision M-Class Selection SRE/GSP
THOR - Mission to Explore Plasma Energisation in Space Turbulence as part of Cosmic Vision M-Class Selection SRE/GSP
PRIDE - Assessment of Innovative Space Vehicles LAU
HERACLES - Human/Robotic Lunar Partnership Mission (HRLPM2) HSO/GSP
d.Deorbit - Joint ESA/DLR Assessment of In-Orbit Demonstrator TEC/GSP
CLEP - Assessment of a Europa Moon Penetrator SRE/GSP
CLEO - Assessment of a Jovian Moon Flyby Mission SRE/GSP
Vega 3S - Launch Configuration for Small Satellites with Vega Launcher LAU/GSP
2014 MEX14 OCDT Demonstration and Development Study GSP
HRLPM - Human Robotic Lunar Partnership Mission HSO-KS/GSP
SAOCOM PRR - Preliminary Requirements Review EOP
SULTAN - System of Systems Study ISR Capability Study GSP
HEMS1 - Explorations Scenarios HSO/GSP
e.Deorbit PRR - Preliminary Requirements Review GSP
NGCryoTel - Assessment Study for Next Generation Cryogenic IR Telescope SRE-PF/GSP
ATHENA - X-Ray Telescope Assessment Study SRE-PF/GSP
AIM3P - Asteroid Impact Mission Payload Investigation GSP
MarsFAST - Assessment of Rapid Rover for Mars SRE-PF/GSP
MAPPER RDV - Assessment of Rendezvous Alternative for MAPPER HSO-IL/GSP
AIM3 - Asteroid Investigation Mission to Characterise Binary Asteroid Didymos GSP
PHOBOS SR - Assessment of Sample Return Mission to Phobos SRE-PF/GSP
EC2ETS - European Contribution to Two Exploration Transportation Systems HSO
AVUM ADR - Assessment of Active Debris Removal Using AVUM Upper Stage GSP
MAPPER - Assessment of Lunar Polar Sample Return Mission HSO-IL/GSP
2013 SAOCOM CS Companion SAR in Formation with Argentinian SAR EOP/GSP
FMRD - Flown Mission ReDesign - CDF Calibration Study TEC/GSP
D4D - Design for Demise ( MiCRA for Clean Space) CSI/GSP
METOP - Assessment Study for METOP SG Deorbit Options EOP/GSP
CoBRA - Contactless Earth-Bound Modification using Chemical Propulsion - Winner of ESA SySNova Competition GSP
SPADES - Solid Propellant Autonomous Deorbit System CSI/GSP
2012 CHEOPS - Characterising Exoplanet Satellite (Cosmic Vision small class mission) SRE/GSP
e.Deorbit - Assessment of feasibility [sic] for controlled deorbit of Envisat Clean Space/GSP
e.SAT - Electric Propulsion for Telecomm Satellites TIA
AGILE 2 - Extended Advanced Galileo Injection Using Electric Propulsion NAV-EF
MMSR A5 - Moons of Mars Sample Return Using Ariane 5 SRE-PA/GSP
KuaFu - Space Weather, 2 small satellites SRE-FP/GSP
OPS SAT - In-Orbit Demonstrator CubeSat HSO-OPS/GSP
Envisat DA - Envisat Deorbit Analysis DG/GSP
AIM - Asteroid Impact Mission PPG-PF/GSP
ILS - Interplanetary Life Support MiCRA DG-PF/GSP
ADI - Asteroid Deflection by Ions Siroco MiCRA DG-PF/GSP
DDI - Ion Beam Shepherd MiCRA DG-PF/GSP
Exploration Scenarios Final Roadmap Review HSF-EA/GSP
2011 IXV EVO - Assessment of Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle Evolution LAU-SNX
MMSR - Moons of Mars Sample Return SRE-PA/GSP
MNSM - Mars Network Science Mission SRE-PA/GSP
Marco Polo R - Sample Return from NEA SRE-PA/GSP
ICPA Phase 2 - ISR Capability Pack Assessment Study ESA/EDA/GSP
LOFT - Large Observatory for X-Ray Timing SRE-PA/GSP
VAC - Post ATV Derivative Concept D/HSO/DG/GSP
AGILE - Alternative Trajectories for Galileo NAV-EF
EU LISA - Europe only version of LISA mission LISA Project/GSP
ECHO - ExoPlanet Observatory SRE-PA/GSP
COMPSAR - Passive Companion for Sentinel 1 EOP-SF/GSP
STE QUEST - Space Time Explorer and Quantum Equivalence Test SRE-PA/GSP
Exploration Scenarios Comparative Review HSF-EA/GSP
ICPA Phase 1 - ISR Capability Pack Assessment Study ESA/EDA/GSP
NEMS - Crewed Mission to Near Earth Asteroid GSP
Envisat DO - Deorbit Mission EOP-PEL/GSP
PHOEBUS - High Speed Reentry Demonstrator TEC-MPA/GSP
2010 COMPLEX - Technology, Exploration, Demonstration DG-P/GSP
MREP ASR - Mars Atmosphere Sample Return DSRE/GSP
STE - Space Time Explorer DSRE/GSP
RAiDS - Radiation Assessment in Deep Space DG-P/GSP
PEP - Venus Planetary Entry Probes DSRE/GSP
PEP - Saturn Planetary Entry Probes DSRE/GSP
PEP - Uranus Planetary Entry Probes DSRE/GSP
PEP - Neptune Planetary Entry Probes DSRE/GSP
NGL SYS - Next Generation Launcher System DLAU
R2D3 - Rendezvous and Refuelling Demonstrator DG-P/GSP
LUMETTO - Lunar Mapping and Exploration Technology DG-P/GSP
NGL IA - Next Generation Launcher Innovative Avionics DLAU
PLATO DE - Design Evolution DSRE/GSP
Exoplanets DSRE/GSP
Alpha A - Building Block European Launcher DLAU
ADS-B - Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast DTIA
2009 Nanosat DTEC/GSP
IXO Telescope DSRE/GSP
Automated Identification System (AIS) ESA Telecomms
MoonSAV ESA Human Space Flight/GSP
MoonNext DSR ESA Human Space Flight/GSP
Meteron ESA OPS
2008 Mars Electric Propulsion(MEP) DTEC/GSP
Marco Polo - Near Earth Object ESA Science/GSP [Polo v4-1-esa-cdf.pdf]
Euclid - Dark Energy Study ESA Science/GSP
AirQualSat - Model (AQS) DTEC/GSP
SPICA/SAFARI Telescope ESA Science/GSP
XEUS - Xray Telescope ESA Science/GSP
LaPlace - Jupiter Moons Study ESA Science/GSP
Tandem - Two Probe Mission to Titan ESA Science/GSP
Space Exploration Architecture ESA Human Spaceflight
Sentinel 5 Precursor EOP/GSP
Slush - Densified Propellant Launchers
Xray Telescope (IXO) ESA Science/GSP
Accurate EOP/GSP
2007 Air Traffic Management Demonstration Payload (ATMDP) Telecom/GSP
System-on-Chip (SoC) DTEC/GSP
Near Earth Object Monitoring(SANCHO) ESA Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Jupiter Radiation Study (JURA) ESA Science
Cosmic Microwave Polarisation Mapper(CMPM) ESA Science
Comsat for Air Traffic Management (IRIS) TEN-A
Lunar Sample Return (LSR) ESA Human Spaceflight
Mars Technology Demonstrator (MARSNeXT) ESA Human Spaceflight
Near Earth Object Review (DQS) ESA Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion (NUM) LAU-PAD/GSP
Vegetation Gap Filler (VGT) DTEC/GSP
Transiting Exoplanet Survey- PLATO (Cosmic Vision) ESA Science/GSP
Earth Plasma Study - Cross Scale (Cosmic Vision) ESA Science/GSP
Space Exploration Architecture (AES) ESA Human Spaceflight
2006 RAM Electric Propulsion (RAM EP) DTEC/GSP
In Orbit Demonstrator(IOD) DTEC/GSP
European Student Moon Orbiter(ESMO) ESA/GSP
Small Geostationary Telecommunication Satellite(SGEO) ESA/TEC Telecommunications
Configuration REvisit Targeting Europa (CRETE) ESA Science
Wireless Technology for Spacecraft(WiFLY) DTEC/GSP
Long Term Cryogenic Propulsion (LTCP) DTEC/GSP
Far Infrared Interferometer(FIRI) ESA Science
Wide Field Interferometer(WFI) ESA Science
Cross-Track Scanner Microwave Radiometer (XMWR) ESA Earth Observation
2005 Lunar Robotic Mission (LES 3) ESA Exploration
Jupiter Entry Probe (JEP) ESA Science
Formation Flying (PROBA 3) DTEC/GSP
Space Alternative Energy Storage Systems (SPAESS) Advanced Concepts Team
VEGA 1 Payload DLAU, DTEC & Education
Near Earth Objects (NEO2 [1]) Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Lunar Cargo Transport System (LES CTS) ESA Exploration
BeagleNet ESA Exploration
Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) ESA Launchers/GSP
2004 Near-Earth Objects Precursor Mission (NEO1 [2]) ESA Advanced Concepts Team/GSP
Lunar Exploration Study 1 (LES) ESA Exploration
Atmospheric Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) ESA Human Spaceflight
Mars DemoLander 2 (MDL) ESA GSP
X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy 2 (XEUS) ESA Science
X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy 1 (XEUS) ESA Science
Sub mm Wave Instrument (SWI) ESA GSP/Technical Directorate
Europa Low Resource Radar (ELRR) ESA Science
Mars DemoLander 1 (MDL) ESA GSP
VEGA evolution with electric propulsion (E-VEGA) ESA Technical Directorate/Launchers/GSP
ExoMars Phase B preparation - Specifications ESA Aurora
Solar Orbiter 2 - Composite option pre-assessment ESA Science
Human Spaceflight Vision (HSV) - European man-tended Moon base ESA Human Spaceflight
Socrates - Reusable launcher demonstrator ESA Launchers
Human Missions to Mars ESA Aurora
2003 International Microgravity Plasma Facility (IMPACT) ESA Human Spaceflight
AeroCapture Demonstrator Earth and Mars ESA Aurora
Mars Sample Return ESA Aurora
Mars Network Science - Probe network on Mars surface ESA Science
Crew Transportation Vehicle (CTV) - Soyuz design enhancement ESA Human Spaceflight
Crew Transportation Vehicle (CTV) - Model and validation ESA GSP
P Band Sounder Instrument design for Antarctica (P-Sounder) - First CDF IDA ESA Earth Observation
2002 ISS Droplet Combustion Insert (DCI) - Support to industrial Phase A ESA Human Spaceflight
Rosita - Telescope accommodation outside Columbus module ESA Human Spaceflight
EXOMARS 09 DM - Mars Exobiology Descent Module ESA Aurora
EXOMARS 09 - A second Mars Exobiology mission design ESA Aurora
BepiColombo All-SEPM Delta Study - Reaching Mercury with electric propulsion ESA Science
Mars Exobiology - European mission to search for life on Mars ESA Aurora
2001 ISS Dusty Plasma Facility - Support to industrial Phase A ESA Human Spaceflight
EUROPA - Preliminary assessment ESA GSP
Space Weather - Three elements service monitoring the solar-terrestrial environment ESA GSP/Technical Directorate [3]
Ocean Earth Watch - Operational mission for ocean and coastal zone monitoring ESA Earth Observation
2000 Hyper Precision Atom Interferometry in Space ESA Science
STORMS - 3x Constellation for Magnetosphere Storms ESA Science
MASTER - Mars and Asteroid Mission ESA Science
Eddington - Stellar Physics and Planet Finder Telescope ESA Science
World Space Observatory (WSO/UV) ESA Science
Mercury Surface Element (MeSE) ESA Science
Meteo Imager Sounder Satellite (MISS) ESA Earth Observation/Eumetsat
1999 Solar Orbiter - Study of the Sun and Inner Heliosphere ESA Science
Central European Satellite for Advanced Research (CESAR'99) Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)

List of reviews

Year Title Customer
2006 Don Quijote Mid-Term Review DTEC/GSP
Review of Europa Industrial Studies (REIS) ESA Science
2004 PASTEUR - Industrial Phase A mid term review ESA Aurora
Mars Sample Return (MSR) - Industrial Phase A mid term review ESA Aurora
Human Mission Russian review ESA Aurora
ExoMars - Industrial Phase A mid term review ESA Aurora
Entry Vehicle Demonstrator (EVD) review ESA Aurora
2003 KEO review ESA GSP
2002 BepiColombo - Review of industrial studies ESA Science
Mars Exobiology - Review of the Babakin Study ESA Aurora
2001 Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP) - Review of industrial study ESA Science
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) - Review of industrial study ESA Science
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna - Review of the industrial study ESA Science


The CDF design room was designed and equipped with relevant hardware and software tools, with the aim of creating an effective communication and data interchange environment among team members.[citation needed] In 2008, ESA donated its older CDF facility to the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, for educational purposes.

See also


  1. ^ "Space project management" (PDF). 6 March 2009. p. 21. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  2. ^ "ECSS–M–30A Standards". European Cooperation for Space Standardization. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Studies/Reviews / CDF / Space Engineering / Our Activities / ESA". ESA. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.