ESA and the City of Essen collaborate to protect urban and suburban areas with the power of space-applications

The City of Essen and the European Space Agency (ESA) are cooperating to promote the development of space-applications in support of the development and the protection of urban environments in a sustainable manner. As a priority within the sustainable urban development, the focus will be on the natural green protection in urban and suburban areas, climate change challenges, biodiversity protection, sustainable urban mobility, circular economy, and support of growth of a sustainable green and digital economy by leveraging satellite and terrestrial networks.

The first joint initiative that has been launched through this cooperation is an Invitation To Tender for companies to propose space-based applications which can contribute to whether and to what extent green spaces can be effectively integrated into smart city planning and urban green management, be monitored regarding their status and their impact on the surroundings and preserved as natural capital to maximise benefits for all citizens. The City of Essen has been crucial for the definition of the key application areas.

The Lord Mayor of the City of Essen, Thomas Kufen, is looking forward to the cooperation and the opportunities it entails: “Urban green infrastructure improves water management during extreme precipitation events, has a positive impact on air quality, mitigates extreme summer temperatures, and provides recreational spaces. In times of climate change it is more important than ever in context of urban development, which must be rethought in a global context. The services developed with ESA will help us to observe, understand and sustainably adapt our local environment and its interdependencies.“

Rita Rinaldo, Head of the Partner/Thematic led Initiative of Space Solutions Programme in ESA, added: “working with the City of Essen gives us the opportunity to foster the development of space applications with the aim of making our cities greener, while boosting sustainability and infrastructure, protecting the environment and creating shared value for citizens. We are confident that this cooperation will showcase the potential of space to deliver green value thanks to innovative space-based solutions with environmental and socio-economic benefits at scale.”

AIAA and the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Space ISAC) Enter Cooperative Agreement

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Space ISAC) have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) enabling the two organizations to collaborate on aerospace and space cybersecurity endeavors. The two organizations will cooperate to build the knowledge foundations of space cybersecurity. The Space ISAC brings cybersecurity situational awareness and operational excellence and AIAA offers its long history of convening and promoting aerospace expertise, knowledge, and leadership.
“AIAA is committed to bringing cyber protection to the heart of the aerospace industry. It is becoming more and more essential to address cybersecurity on an ongoing basis in the mainstream of our core processes – from the design and development of new space systems, to manufacturing and production, to operations,” said Dan Dumbacher, executive director of AIAA. “We look forward to our continued work with the Space ISAC, to use its frontline role in the cyber defense of aerospace to foster open dialogue and cooperation around this topic.”
The Space ISAC facilitates collaboration across the global space industry to prepare for and respond to vulnerabilities, incidents, and threats; to disseminate timely and actionable information among member entities; and to serve as the primary communications channel for the sector with respect to this information. Space ISAC is the only all-threats security information source for the public and private space sector. It will be the most comprehensive, single point source for data, facts and analysis on space security and threats to space assets. Space ISAC will also provide analysis and resources to support response, mitigation, and resilience initiatives.
Erin Miller, Space ISAC Executive Director, commented, “Space ISAC and AIAA coming together in partnership is a wonderful complement. Our initial collaboration efforts began in 2020 on the first ever ISAC-led tabletop exercise for the space sector. We are formalizing our partnership now and anticipate the impact will be seen through efforts in workforce development, education, space sector cybersecurity awareness, and more.”
The two organizations have already begun collaborating. In 2020, the Space ISAC staged a cybersecurity tabletop exercise for space industry executives at AIAA’s ASCEND event, a global gathering of 3,000 aerospace professionals and others who are focused on accelerating our off-world future faster. Both organizations also value the importance of infusing the  global space industry with content to educate industry professionals and students and will identify opportunities to leverage AIAA’s extensive educator outreach programs.
“Digital technology has made aerospace safer, smarter, and more connected than ever. We must now establish cybersecurity as a priority on par with safety. We look forward to working with the Space ISAC to expand cybersecurity awareness throughout the aerospace community and supply chain,” Dumbacher concluded.
Through the MOU, the Space ISAC and AIAA intend to cooperate on learning opportunities and explore other areas of mutual concern.

CISA Launches Space Systems Critical Infrastructure Working Group

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the formation of a Space Systems Critical Infrastructure Working Group, a mix of government and industry members that will identify and develop strategies to minimize risks to space systems that support the nation’s critical infrastructure. The Working Group will operate under the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) framework, bringing together space system critical infrastructure stakeholders.

The critical infrastructure on which the United States depends relies on space systems. Increasing the security and resilience of space systems is essential to supporting the American people, economy, and homeland security.

“Secure and resilient space-based assets are critical to our economy, prosperity, and our national security,” said CISA Acting Director Brandon Wales. “This cross sector working group will lay the foundation for our collective defense against the threats we face today and in the future.”

This working group will serve as an important mechanism to improve the security and resilience of commercial space systems. It will identify and offer solutions to areas that need improvement in both the government and private sectors and will develop recommendations to effectively manage risk to space based assets and critical functions.

The working group is co-chaired by Jim Platt, Chief, Strategic Defense Initiatives, CISA and John Galer, Assistant Vice President, National Security Space, Aerospace Industries Association. Current members represent government and industry organizations from the communications, critical manufacturing, defense industrial base, information technology, and transportation sectors, including leading-edge satellite and space asset infrastructure firms with expertise in emerging technology areas.

European Space Agency signs Memorandum of Intent with Public Safety Communication Europe

Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to support the utilisation of satellite applications for Public Safety.
ESA and PSCE will work together under the new MoI towards establishing interoperable public safety communications systems.
The MoI will support the emergence of space-based applications in the Public Safety domain such as public safety services relying on secure mobile broadband communication solutions. These include applications within disaster preparedness, response and resilience, situational awareness, assessments of damages, navigation-based services for tracking and coordinating rescue forces on-site and for emergency vehicles.
"ESA Space Solutions and the 4S Strategic Programme Line will support through this agreement the emergence of solutions making use of secure satellite communications for institutional Public Safety user communities. This can be achieved as of today through existing satellite telecommunications infrastructures. In the future it will be possible to make use of new and innovative infrastructures with enhanced capabilities. Early pilots and demonstrations will showcase the unique benefits granted by satellites to the user communities and early adopters", says Rita Rinaldo, ESA
"The cooperation with ESA will help to explore complementary solutions that will contribute to cover capability gaps and needs for public safety. It is of extreme importance to improve public safety communication systems with cutting-edge and rapidly deployable solutions that will facilitate PPDR missions", explains Marie-Christine Bonnamour, PSCE.
The cooperation between ESA and PSCE will be activated as a first step through PSCE participation in the ongoing user studies on "Satellite Applications for Public Safety".
PSCE will contribute to the identification of the needs of public safety stakeholders such as emergency services, fire brigades and law enforcement.

Space ISAC Announces Initial Operating Capability for Threat Information Sharing

The Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Space ISAC) has announced a significant milestone, declaring the organization has reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC) following the launch of Space ISAC’s member portal and threat intelligence sharing platform. This capability will serve as the first of its kind, enabling commercial industry and international space partners to share timely, actionable information about space-based threats.
This milestone event marks just over one year since Space ISAC’s board of directors and leaders from U.S. government agencies met to discuss the timeline to achieve initial operating capability.
“Achieving IOC for the Space ISAC is one of the most critical milestones toward protecting the space critical infrastructure for the global space community. This platform for information sharing will bring our community together and align our efforts to increase the security and reliability of space systems,” said Frank Backes, Senior Vice President, Kratos Federal Space and Chairman of the Board at Space ISAC.
Space ISAC has selected Cyware to host the Space ISAC portal and threat intelligence sharing platform. The platform allows Space ISAC members to share threat data securely with next-generation partnership capabilities that meet the needs of the space industry’s rapidly evolving threat environment.
“Our team at Cyware believes it is mission-critical to support and empower cybersecurity sharing communities with the tools and resources needed to collaborate and share intelligence to improve security operations and maintain resiliency,” said Anuj Goel, CEO and co-founder of Cyware. “We are impressed by Space ISAC’s dedication to improving the defense capabilities of their membership. They are consistently seeking out the best opportunities to enhance threat intelligence sharing in an integrated and collaborative manner, that reduces cyber risk across space and other key industries where intelligence is critical.”
“It’s incredibly exciting to see the introduction of such a platform where commercial industry and international space partners will soon be able to share timely information about space-based threats,” said William O. Ferguson, Cyber Security Operations Manager for founding board member SES.
Space ISAC consists of 24 members and counting from the global space community. Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, a founding board member of Space ISAC, leads a Space ISAC team that vets all new members to ensure that Space ISAC maintains the highest levels of trust and integrity within its membership base.
“We are thrilled to reach this milestone, a giant step in making all of us together smarter and safer than any of us alone. I hope that many others will join us in ensuring the resilience of the global space enterprise,” said Michael Ryschkewitsch, Head, Space Sector at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
Andre Adelsbach, vice president of Group Information and Cyber Security for SES, added, “At SES, we realize the importance of safeguarding current and emerging space service technology, and welcome efforts that can be developed across the industry.”
Additionally, Space ISAC’s IOC includes hosting member events and facilitating working groups and task forces. These initiatives have created opportunities for Space ISAC members and partners to develop the functions of the ISAC and raise the entire space sector’s security posture. This includes an information sharing work group, an analyst work group, and task forces dedicated to small satellites and Space Policy Directive-5.
“As an ISAC we are responsible to coordinate across the entire space sector and communicate critical information sharing far and wide and for global space to create sector-wide situational awareness,” said Erin Miller, Executive Director, Space ISAC.

FAA Should Examine a Range of Options to Support U.S. Launch Infrastructure

Demand for commercial space launches is expected to increase. Twelve launch sites in The US held operator licenses in Aug. 2020, and 11 more were seeking licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Congress asked the FAA to recommend ways to facilitate and promote investments in space transportation infrastructure. The FAA told the GAO that its response would focus on 2 existing FAA grant programs.
Launch providers support the deployment of people and payloads, such as national security and commercial satellites or research probes, into space. The majority of these providers told GAO that U.S. space transportation infrastructure—located at sites across the country—is generally sufficient for them to meet their customers' current requirements. This situation is in part a result of the launch providers' investments in launch sites, along with state and local funding. Launch providers and site operators alike seek future improvements but differ on the type and location of infrastructure required. Some launch providers said that infrastructure improvements would be required to increase launch capacity at existing busy launch sites, while a few site operators said that new infrastructure and additional launch sites would help expand the nation's overall launch capacity.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was directed by statute to make recommendations to Congress on how to facilitate and promote greater investments in space transportation infrastructure, among other things. However, FAA's initial draft report was limited because it focused only on two existing FAA programs, rather than a range of options. FAA officials stated that they did not examine other options because of limited time and resources, and that the two identified programs could be implemented quickly because FAA has administrative authority to manage them. Leading practices in infrastructure investment emphasize the importance of conducting an examination of potential approaches, which can help identify how best to support national interests; avoid overlap or duplication of federal effort; and enhance, not substitute, participation by non-federal stakeholders. An examination may also help identify alternatives to making funding available, such as increasing efficiency and capacity through technology improvements. By focusing only on these existing programs, FAA may overlook other options that better meet federal policy goals and maximize the effect of any federal investment. Although FAA has already prepared its initial report to respond to the statute, it still has opportunities, such as during subsequent mandated updates, to report separately on potential approaches.
Demand for commercial space launches is anticipated to increase in the coming years. FAA, the agency responsible for overseeing the sites where these launches occur, was directed by statute to submit a report—and update it every 2 years until December 2024—that makes recommendations on how to facilitate and promote greater investments in space transportation infrastructure.