Skip to Main Content
Secure communications in the context of civil space missions gained a major attention in the last few years, mainly thanks to the activities promoted in this field by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems. Risk analyses performed by several space agencies have provided indications of the impact of different security threats on several categories of space missions. As a result, to ensure a minimum level of security, at least Telecommand authentication should be applied to all missions. Besides standard and well known algorithms, alternative authentication solutions are to be considered, and tested for possible adoption in the space context, in order to provide a scalable and flexible authentication framework. To this aim, this paper focuses on some Authenticated Encryption with Associated Data techniques, and on their thorough evaluation by a detailed model of the space Telecommand channel and protocol stack, in order to achieve an optimal selection for application in the real space communication environment.