SAGAN - Web Based Satellite Capacity Management System

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Since the end of the operational life of Olympus, ESA has procured satellite capacity on Eutelsat satellites to support development projects and pre-operational service demonstrations. So far the coordination for the access to the satellite capacity has been carried out by a human operator through a manual process, consisting of gathering the requests from the users, identifying the operational modes compatible with the set of requests received for the same time slot, and notifying the new access schedule to the user community.

All this has been proved to be a cumbersome, resource intensive exercise, which could be in reality effectively replaced by a distributed booking system. The benefit originated by the adoption of such booking system would be to drastically reduce the involvement of human intervention for coordinating the access to the ESA capacity, allowing a much faster, and more organised way to respond to the different requests coming from the user community.

The primary objective of the project has been to develop and implement a system (Hardware and Software) able to provide a complete and flexible solution for managing the ESA capacity resource via a web-based interface.

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The SAGAN platform has made extensive use of Internet COTS software. Extensive experience in choosing, deploying and supporting these products together with a deep understanding of standard internet technology has been essential to the success of the project. Extensive trade-off analyses have been performed. The selected products are Open Source because they have been found to provide the best choice encompassing minimum risk with maximum performance.

In the SAGAN platform, security considerations have been taken into account from the beginning. Security has been integrated in the SAGAN development and validation process from start to finish. This is definitely a complex task that is essential for any internet technologies based platform.


The main benefits obtained from the SAGAN project have been to:

  • Free the booking operator from cumbersome administrative tasks related to capacity resources booking.
  • Improve the utilisation of satellites resources.

Thus, the human intervention has been reduced drastically and a better improvement of the booking system has been achieved.

The system accepts requests coming from booking users and fulfils them by finding the appropriate operational mode within a transmission plan. This selection process looks for a consistent distribution of the satellite capacity resources. Since the SAGAN deployment in November 2003, the system has supplied satellite resources to more than 50 different projects.
The system supports administration of users, their profiles and privileges, services and satellite capacity resources.

The system provides (via a web interface) the actual spectrum of the ESA capacity resources for the operational mode active at each time, sending e-mail and/or SMS notifications if the occupancy of the resources does not fit within the booking plan.

In conclusion, the system represents a powerful tool to automate and improve the procurement of satellite resources.


The SAGAN platform is able to provide a complete and flexible solution for managing the ESA capacity resource via a web-based interface able to fulfil the following tasks:

  • Receive the requests coming from the users of the system.
  • Manage the satellite resources by accepting or rejecting the incoming requests and selecting the relevant operational mode of the transmission plan.
  • Display the booking status through a suitable graphical interface.
  • Capture and show via web the current spectrum of the ESA capacity.
  • Detect deviations between planned and actual spectrum usage.
  • Present the booking commands to the relevant satellite network systems using a standardised XML interface.
  • Registration and management of users with four different profiles: viewer user, booking user, service administrator and system administrator.
  • Notify relevant events to the users via SMS/eMail: cancellation of sessions, monitoring alarms, start of scheduled sessions, etc.
  • Provide a discussion forum and a repository area for relevant documents.

The SAGAN platform has been designed as a complete, self-standing architecture. Its elements include:

  • Hardware infrastructure: this includes servers, firewalls, storage and back-up hardware, organised in a secure architecture with high availability features.
  • Base software platform: Internet technologies are strongly focused on the use of existing Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) software. SAGAN has been built on top of more than a dozen of proven Open Source software products, which have been carefully selected and properly integrated and verified for optimum performance.
  • Application software: The software for the SAGAN project has been developed using Sun Microsystems' Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technology. J2EE is a set of specifications, patterns and practices that define distributed, multi-tiered application development, deployment and management for the Java programming language.

In summary, the SAGAN platform provides a reliable and secure solution making use of state-of-the-art internet technologies. 

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Phase 1: January 2nd 2003 - March 6th 2003

  • Analyse operational requirements.
  • Prepare a Functional and Performance Requirements Baseline.
  • Elaborate the Technical Specifications, the ICD and the DJF.
  • Propose and review the User Interface.

Phase 2: March 6th 2003 - January 15th 2004

  • Procure the Hardware Items.
  • Develop the Design Definition File and update the DJF.
  • Integrate the SAGAN system and perform Validation Testing.
  • Produce the IOM and the User Guide.
  • Deliver and Integrate the SAGAN system.
  • Perform an Acceptance Review.

Operation and Maintenance: January 15th 2004 - July 15th 2005

Current status

The SAGAN system is installed at ESA-ESRIN.

A SAGAN user/password is required to access the tool. From 1st March 2004 SAGAN is the tool to book ESA satellite capacity on SESAT, HELLASAT for the authorised ARTES users.


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