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German Aerospace Center

bitfarm-Archiv Enterprise in the Satellite Control Center

DLR Control Center, Obepfaffenhofen
DLR Control Center Oberpfaffenhofen (Source: DLR (CC-BY 3.0))

The German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen uses bitfarm-Archiv Document Management for the structured storage and the rapid availability of technical documentations. The satellite navigation system Galileo will offer, in 2014, first services and thus be a separate Navigation System of the Europeans. Because of the increasing importance of electronic navigation, Europe makes itself independent from the Americans, which uses the navigation satellites, known as GPS, since many years.

High-Technology: Large heterogeneous document landscape

The construction and operation of a monitoring and control center for up to 18 satellites is a technological challenge. Thousands of scientists and engineers develop and test at DLR, Astrium, ESA and other involved companies, highly specific parts and components for satellites and ground stations. The increasing enormous amounts of documentations, must be available at any time in the control center for the operation of the satellite fleet. The quick retrieval of information in order to meet the necessary decisions quickly on a profound basis of knowlege is needed.

Automatic processing of document delivery

bitfarm-Archiv DMS Enterprise provides the technology and ensures the exchange of documents among the participating companies. For example, if documents must be sent to the ESA, the Open-Source Software automatically creates a "document delivery note", a kind of delivery note for a document delivery, containing the title, issue, document number, version, milestone and other metadata in accordance with the document standards of the ESA. Similarly the import of new documents into the system is carried out through the metadata, listed in the document delivery notes. The electronic Document Management System" uses this information for automatic tagging and avoids double storage of identical documents (double delivery). Thus, the amount of daily incoming new documents, is largely controlled by automation.


Earth Station for satellite transmission of control commands

"Rapid Development" because of the bitfarm-Archiv Enterprise-Toolbox

What first sounds of lots of programming effort, was ultimately not very extensive, because the basic functions in the bitfarm-Archiv Enterprise-Toolbox were already implemented and ready for use. They had only to be suitable combined and tested. The requirements of the DLR could be implemented after a short period of time. Because of this modular system, adaptations to changing requirements are relatively quick to implement. Thanks to this flexibility, not only in the high technology, also in the medium-sized companies, bitfarm-Archiv Document Management gets lots of customers, who needs a software system for rapidly changing market conditions, which can go with this pace.

Future Safe because of Open Source

With a service life of 20 years, which is planned for the Galileo-System as a minimum, the use of a DMS is a strategic long-term decision. Therefore, not only the possibilities of the software, but also the aspects related to the offering company and not least the ability to obtain the software source code and be able to adapt on their own, if necessary, was decisive for the German Aerospace Center. All versions of bitfarm-Archiv DMS are Open Source solutions without license fees.