Voulme 11, Number 2, June 1995
by Donald Sawyer

Proposal To Develop Archiving Standards

As many of you are aware, NASA participates in the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS). This group has adopted or developed various standards to improve the interoperability of agency data handling systems. What you may not know is that this group also promotes draft standards to an International Standards Organization (ISO) committee known as TC20/SC13. This committee has recently accepted the transfer of an archiving standards task from ISO committee SC14. Current plans are to conduct this work at the international level under the oversight of CCSDS Panel 2.

At the recent CCSDS Panel 2 workshop in Toulouse, France, a proposal was made to conduct the archiving work under a new work package description category known as "WP 700 Archiving." The proposed initial subtask, known as "WP710 Archiving Reference Model," has been defined as follows:


This proposed standard will define an archive reference model and service categories for the intermediate and indefinite long-term storage of digital data obtained from or used in conjunction with space missions. Service categories will include levels of user expertise necessary to understand archive content, number of users who can be simultaneously served, and types of data and metadata services.


The proposed standard will provide a framework and common terminology that may be used by government and commercial sectors in the request and provision of archive services. They will also encourage commercial support for the provision of archive services that would truly preserve our valuable data, not only for space-related data but also for all long-term data archives.

This is the first step necessary before adopting or developing specific standards needed to support archive services. Such standards will allow new countries entering the space field to have predefined formats for the archiving of data and the ability to avoid the learning process and the consequent period in which data are not easily usable on an international basis.


NOST believes that NASA-supported archives, other agency archives, commercial archive service providers, and archive customers should be interested in participating in this effort. Your interest and comments will be most welcome. Please contact

Donald Sawyer
+1 301 286 2748

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