Riskaware, incident modelling experts, and Telespazio UK, a global leader in satellite solutions and services, have joined forces to develop an innovative solution concept for the MoD jointly funded by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the US Department of Defense (DOD).
The challenge presented by the Allied Defence organisations was to create a solution that addresses “visualisation to help a commander in the field to understand the satellite operations relevant to their missions”.
The solution presented by the team is a decision support tool that is tailored to communicate the chain of impacts caused by degraded space assets to users on the ground, providing support for users in command and control, strategic decision making, field operations and more to achieve more informed, remote space asset management.
Riskaware and Telespazio UK were selected as one of the 10 finalists asked to pitch at the Defence Space Conference, after several rounds against strong global competitors, and are busy developing the prototype solution in preparation for the next round of pitching. Already there has been significant interest in the purpose-built satellite capability from government and commercial organisations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Simon Agass, Business Development Executive of Riskaware says: “Our partnership with Telespazio UK gives us a strong and experienced stance within this process. The capabilities we are bringing to the table are trusted and established, and Telespazio UK have valuable insight into what the users really need. This project will mark Riskaware’s entry into the space sector, a platform for which we have plans to develop in the next few months.”
Together, the UK and European organisations make a strong team, with Riskaware’s expertise in mission and impact modelling, as well as their innovation and scientific development experience, combined with Telespazio UK’s space and technical expertise in satellite operations.
The solution is based on the unique capabilities at the core of Riskaware’s cyber attack assessment tool, using forecasting techniques to model the immediate and downstream impacts of failure or mission interference in space assets and communicate this intelligence to the end user. Users can create custom mission models, including parameters such as the space or ground assets available, time frame and dependencies to identify the potential risk for many different scenarios.
For example, if space weather caused a disruption to a satellite’s electronics, or a certain manoeuvre degrades the systems capability, our model could assess the impact of these changes on the users, model the second and third order effects, and deliver that information on an intuitive user interface.
Our solution has the ability to model both natural phenomenon and man-made activity – such as anti-satellite systems, kinetic and non-kinetic weapons, and cyber threats – built on Riskaware’s modelling and analytics capabilities and Telespazio UK’s satellite operational intelligence.
The space challenge
As the growing number of satellites increasingly compete for space, there is an increased risk for both commercial and military satellites, and therefore greater need to consistently manage and secure these assets, both for economic and defence reasons. Cyber defence, as a more established field, is a good foundation on which the UK and US can continue to develop space risk assessments and analytics, and as the use of satellites becomes more ubiquitous in everyday life, a greater understanding of the dependencies we have on them is ever more vital.
There is an increasing demand for solutions that can identify, analyse, and help mitigate potential risks in an integrated format. Users need to understand not only how satellites interact and impact one another, but how these activities ultimately affect the land, sea and air domains.
Riskaware and Telespazio UK’s solution would address this prominent challenge, ensuring the end users, the planners and the mission operators have the information they need to make informed decisions and mitigate actions by delivering a more contextual insight into the effects that impacted space assets have on the people on the ground, faster and more efficiently than currently possible.
This tool could be applied to a variety of on-the-ground defence applications, supporting roles such as a commander in the field, regional space asset planning, and strategic operations to manage missions with regional intelligence about available assets. One example use case is to support multi domain operations where reliance on services from satellites can play a critical role in communication, navigation and intelligence.
There is also the exciting potential to adapt these capabilities for commercial applications that rely on Position, Navigation and Timing services for managing communication and risk analysis between autonomous systems, the synchronisation of global transactions, and the synchronisation of energy networks.
Dr Geoff Busswell, Head of Marketing & Sales at Telespazio UK said; “This project is an important stepping-stone in the development of space enabled battle management tools. We are looking forward to working closely with our partners and project lead, Riskaware, to deliver a proof of concept for the SpaceAware platform.”
Riskaware and Telespazio UK will be creating a prototype product that can hopefully be taken forward during the next stage of the process in early 2021
If you would like to find out more about this project and our work, or would like to show your support, please get in touch.