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Support to Precursor SSA Services

Final Report Summary - SPA (Support to precursor SSA services)

Executive summary:

This document reports on financial and management aspects and describes in a briefly manner the technical results and achievements, of the SPA project, co-financed by the European Commission (EC)'s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The document corresponds to the SPA project deliverable D7.5 'Project final report'.

In the background of an increasingly congested space environment and recognition of the importance of the space infrastructures underpinning national and European policies, a number of key steps have been taken to establish an autonomous European Space situational awareness (SSA) capability. The Treaty of Lisbon, entered into force on December 2009, provides the European Union (EU) with competence to carry out activities in Space, without preventing Member States to exercise their competences Since then space council resolutions and EU communications have continued to support the goal of an SSA capability for the protection of space infrastructure such as Galileo and Global monitoring for environment and security (GMES).

Furthermore, initial SSA needs and requirements have been elaborated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) for military aspects in the Common Staff Target, the European Space Agency (ESA) for civil aspects in the ESA SSA Preparatory programme (PP) 'Mission requirements document', and based on these needs the Political and security committee (PSC) has endorsed the civ / mil European SSA high-level civil-military user requirements document.

The ESA SSA PP is being implemented as an optional programme with financial participation by thirteen ESA Member States. The next ESA ministerial council will be held in November 2012. ESA has prepared a proposal for the next programme phase which will be subject to endorsement during the ESA ministerial council.

In the context of the present state of SSA development in Europe, the SPA project has produced technical findings and recommendations on key Governance and data policy issues. SPA has established a forum and highlighted the major issues to SSA stakeholders through dissemination activities such as workshops and presentations. The SPA project deliverables offers a reference resource for key aspects of SSA governance and data policy.

Through extensive scenario-based exercises, major governance and data policy issues have been encountered or confirmed. To carry out the scenario based assessments and to increase its technical skill base in the space surveillance domain, the centre has installed indicative SSA SST services study simulators. In addition, the SPA project has developed an orbit determination processing chain and treated observational data from a number of prominent SSA surveillance and tracking sensors in the EU.

Hypothetical SSA-SST architecture models have been elaborated and documented as material for discussion, these are referred to as the federated, unified and joint models and these models have been presented in a way that supports a neutral and comprehensive evaluation and not to define or prejudge any aspect of a future SSA capability.

In addition to new SPA staff, their experience and the working facilities put into use to host the SPA project, a number of capability development aspects are beneficial to the EUSC and its Member States. For example, the SPA project has supported the EUSC operations division by providing flight dynamics over-flight service support for the optimisation of image acquisition planning. The EUSC has facilitated communication among actors and improved its own contacts in this domain. The EUSC (through) SPA benefited from hosting key SSA stakeholders during three interactive workshops.

The SPA project has been carried out with the cooperation of European SSA stakeholders while considering their activities and is also compatible with existing work of the ESA SSA PP.

Project context and objectives:

The SPA activities have been performed in the context of supporting from a technical perspective the definition of data policy and governance for a future European SSA 'Capability'. The European SSA is expected to address three main areas:

- Space surveillance and tracking (SST) of man-made objects.
- Space weather (SWE) monitoring and forecast.
- Near-Earth objects (NEO) monitoring (of natural space objects).

The SPA project is focused on the SSA-SST segment and services which, being sensitive and dual use (civil and military) in nature, represent the greatest challenges from a governance and data policy development perspective. The SSA-SST could support the implementation of the Common foreign and security policy (CFSP) by facilitating the autonomous European access to space, the enhancement of the security of space assets and the sustainability of space. The SPA project has followed an analysis methodology based on use cases and scenarios suitable to perform an analytical and technical evaluation. The said methodology used for the technical analysis of the data policy and governance needs aims to:

- provide a systematic and pragmatic approach;
- develop an increased understanding of the problem for analysing data policy and governance needs;
- offer a tool to communicate and discuss with stakeholders;
- provide a clear analysis roadmap to perform the SPA analysis work.

The workflow logic driving the activities of the SPA project is as follows: At the beginning of the SPA project the importance of space from the economic and strategic point of view has been analysed. Concurrently, a number of SSA-SST experimental services related to the protection of space infrastructure have been described and characterized in cooperation with relevant SSA’s stakeholders in Europe:

- satellite over-flight;
- satellite conjunction alert;
- space re-entry prediction.

Starting from the studies performed on the importance of space and on the preliminary SSA-SST services, an analysis on existing SSA requirements has been completed and preliminary SSA-SST needs and requirements have been derived.

With the appropriate background context set by previous activities, high-level use cases first and detailed use case scenarios after have been defined as a tool to better understand and analyse data policy and governance needs in cooperation with relevant SSA stakeholders in Europe.

In a parallel way, main data policy topics and potential architecture models with relation to the Governance of a future SSA-SST capability in Europe have been derived.

Finally, the EUSC has performed an evaluation of SSA-SST use case scenarios in order to outline SSA-SST data policy and Governance technical inputs, as well as additional functional needs.

To perform this evaluation, the EUSC has hosted within its already existing secure premises demonstrator software for the above SSA-SST services (cooperating with ESA and using EUSC experience on the area of the analysis and integration of heterogeneous data sources with multiple security levels). The EUSC demonstrators are based on existing ESA SSA software and Commercial off-the-shelf tools (COTS), such as AGI Satellite toolkit (STK). The setup of the demonstrators and the associated governance and data policy technical evaluation has allowed the EUSC to provide recommendations, mainly regarding data policy security aspects.

The output of the dissemination activities performed during the SPA project summarises knowledge gained, lessons learned and the achievements of the SPA project with recommendations in view of further developments of SSA in Europe, particularly on the technical aspects of its Governance and data policy.

Description of SPA project objectives

The overall SPA project objective is to perform a study summarizing the gained knowledge, including lesson learned, on SSA during the execution of the SPA study, as well as recommendations in view of further developments of SSA in Europe, particularly on the technical aspects of its Governance and data policy.

The SPA project is structured into seven work packages with associated tasks and clearly identified milestones. Each work package is led by an expert in the respective knowledge field and assisted by other EUSC staff. The seven SPA's work packages are:

- WP1 'Project management', ensures that the project is given a management level suitable to EC REA standards.
- WP2 'SSA precursor service definition', characterizes three SSA preliminary services related to the protection of space infrastructure having relevance to civilian security as well as the CSDP.
- WP3 'Adaptation, integration and testing', provides a suitable secure environment to host a preliminary SSA system.
- WP4 'SSA prototype hosting', integrate an SSA prototype system based on ESA development an COTS suitable to be developed by ESA in order to implement preliminary SSA services (satellite over-flight, space re-entry prediction and satellite conjunction alert).
- WP5 'Precursor services testing', validates the requirements for preliminary services determined in WP2, being the core element of the SPA project.
- WP6 'Dissemination', conveys the experiences obtained during the development of the SPA project.
- WP7 'Support', provides technical coordination and support for the proper management of the SPA project.

Project results:

This chapter offers an overview of the main results and achievements of the SPA project. The results are outlined with respect to the corresponding project deliverable items (as defined in the description of work).

More details on the technical results of the SPA project, in particular on the description of SSA-SST services, High level SSA-SST needs and requirements, potential SSA-SST models used in SPA, SPA demonstrator and use case scenarios, are treated in the SPA deliverable D6.7 'Study report with findings and recommendations'.

Project results

The SPA support action has produced 28 deliverable items of which ten deliverable documents treat themes of key importance to the Governance and data policy of a future European SSA capability. Below is an outline of the SPA project results and achievements with respect to the deliverable item.

D2.1 'Findings on SSA requirements to support civilian security and CSDP' contains:

- An outline of three indicative SSA-SST services that are suitable for the implementation of the SPA FP7 support action as well as to support the CFSP and civilian security. The description of these services have been reviewed in the first SPA's workshop by stakeholders and confirmed relevant for the SPA study, which indeed are expected to form part a future SSA-SST capability in Europe. The services are satellite over-flight, satellite conjunction warning and space re-entry prediction. It is concluded that they could serve to protect valuable space assets that in-turn underpin an important level of economic activity and technological lead in various sectors such as earth observation, telecommunications and navigation. The re-entry service helps to protect civilian life and property.

D2.2 'Findings on SSA requirements for governance / data policy' presents:

- A brief study on the current setting of SSA and space activities in Europe, including the economic and strategic (in particular for the CFSP) importance of space as well as the legislative framework currently applicable to SSA in Europe.
- An identification, summary and analysis of key requirements sets and needs (particular to governance and data policy) for a future SSA capability in Europe along with initial recommendations. The complex interrelationship between governance and data policy has been addressed.
- An analysis of the security and communications needs of the potential stakeholders, including a discussion of the security dimensions in the data policy and more specifically about the need of a data security policy in a future SSA capability in Europe.
- An outline and illustration of potential architecture models suitable to identify data policy and governance elements on a future EU SSA-SST capability. The potential models are further considered and elaborated in D5.1 'Precursor service workflow'.

At EU's satellite centre, providing a secure environment, the installation of representative SSA tools and software packages corresponding to the three services of over-flight, satellite conjunction warning and space re-entry prediction has been carried out. The following software packages with corresponding service that is emulated are: AGI STK, ESA CRASS collision estimation and CNES STELA re-entry. The SPA project deliverables, D2.3 'Prototype hosting requirements', D3.1 'Acceptance of SSA hosting' and 4.1 'Prototype integration, validation and testing document the needs, compliance, details of the demonstrator packages and the secure environment in use at EU's satellite centre'.

In the context of the SPA project and SSA in general, the EUSC has developed the capability and tools to do initial orbit determination based on unprocessed observation data of satellites and space objects see EUSC document 'Tracking and orbit determination'. In the SPA D5.1 'Preliminary SSA services workflow report', the dataflow / workflow of the SPA demonstrator SSA-SST segment installed at the EUSC is outlined along with a dataflow and identification of the important functional elements and interfaces. Three models of possible future SSA SST segment architectures for a European capability have been investigated and schemas are documented. The joint and federated architecture models have emerged by stakeholder feedback as the most adequate models to perform the analysis on governance and data policy carried out by SPA. It is to be noted that these models have not been employed to prejudge any configuration and have been solely used to extract common issues related to data policy and governance. Related to the WP5, the set of D5.2 'Detailed preliminary SSA governance and data policy test cases' and D5.3 'Evaluation of preliminary SSA services report', based on a scenario based methodology, presents a test/scenarios plan and analysis report respectively. A comprehensive set of use cases, scenarios and simulation are detailed. These test and exercises are the basis for analysis that is used to confirm and encounter key data policy and Governance points for a future SSA capability.

The SPA project has had a dedicated WP6 for dissemination. Three workshops involving key stakeholders have been held and the results disseminated appropriately, papers have been presented, a promotional video, numerous presentations made to visiting dignitaries and a web forum has been established. In addition, the key deliverable output D6.7 'Study report with findings and recommendations' has been submitted at the end of the project. For a complete summary of achievements of the dissemination activities, please see section 3.

Potential impact:

Potential SPA project impact

Space assets are essential for the activities of modern societies. Communications, navigation, positioning and timing, meteorological and scientific services, geospatial information, understanding of Earth environment, civilian and CFSP operations, to name just a few services, rely on space assets. Any disturbance of these activities could damage or completely disrupt services needed to ensure the safety and the well-being of European Union (EU) citizens.

In September 2008, the 5th Space Council underlined the need for Europe to develop a capability for SSA, drawing on existing capabilities and infrastructures both at national and European level. SSA refers to the knowledge of location and function of space objects and the space environment, including operational satellites, space debris, near Earth objects and space weather. The Seventh Space Council invited EC and the EU Council, in close cooperation with ESA and Member States, to propose a Governance scheme and a Data Policy for a future European SSA capability.

The development of a European SSA capability will underpin the exploitation of European space assets contributing to access (and utilization) of space for Europe (as requested by the European Space Policy). This way the EU and its Member States will be able to better use space, strengthening their security and economy in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy.

The SPA supporting action main objective is to perform a study summarizing the gained knowledge, including lessons learned, on SSA during the execution of the SPA project as well as recommendations in view of further developments of SSA in Europe, particularly on the technical aspects of its Governance and data policy.

SPA is supporting SSA activities in Europe and consequently Space through:

- the identification and characterization of indicative services, such as the satellite conjunction alert, satellite over-flight and space re-entry prediction;
- the contribution from a technical side to the definition of a European SSA governance and data policy;
- the evaluation of SSA-SST use case scenarios in order to outline SSA-SST data policy and Governance technical inputs;
- the identification of best practices and standards in security and data handling.

The main benefits of SPA project for the EU, EU Member States, EU citizens and other SSA stakeholders are:

EU and its MS
- to support EU MS national security and sovereignty;
- to support the secure and traceable information exchanges among all SSA elements;
- to support SSA activities adding value in data policy issues;
- to exploit the expertise of the EUSC in handling, analysing and disseminating data of both civilian and military origin with multiple levels of confidentiality in a secure environment;
- to simulate indicative SSA scenarios using a demonstration platform and promote innovation through the definition of SSA services and products;
- to facilitate the dialogue amongst key SSA stakeholders through the establishment of a technical forum and workshops.

- to bridge the gap with policy makers and technical developers;
- to provide advice in handling, analysing and disseminating sensitive data and derived products within the highest security standards.

EU citizens
- to protect and add value to services needed for the well-being and safety of EU citizens;
- to support the identification of new services needed for the well-being of EU citizens.

Other SSA stakeholders
- to support SSA activities, adding value in data policy issues from a technical point of view;
- to guarantee interoperable information exchanges among all the SSA elements.

Third parties
- to communicate in order to reach a common understanding of space capabilities.

Use and dissemination of foreground

Results generated by FP7 projects are required to be disseminated and promoted as swiftly and effectively as possible to benefit the whole interested community. At the same time a dialogue with Institutions and SSA key stakeholders is needed to contribute effectively (with a pragmatic and focused approach) to the technical definition of European SSA Governance and data policy.

To reach these objectives, selected key audiences have been reached with focused messages, validated by the different SSA actors. Different communication strategies have been implemented, based on appropriate tools and activities such as, a webpage (added to the EUSC website and containing a presentation of the project activities), an internal workspace (a secure site allowing the SPA team to exchange useful information internally at EUSC), a technical forum (a collaboration tool used to allow institutions and key stakeholders to cooperate actively to the SPA project and containing all the SPA deliverables submitted to EC / REA). Three technical workshops have been organized at EUSC to show the results of the SPA project at different milestones and to obtain a relevant evaluation of the project. SPA has been presented by the EUSC mainly to Institutions and key stakeholders (such as the ambassadors of EU MS in Spain, the EDA SSA PT, the EEAS, the ESA SSA PP team, the EUSC board, and the EUSC expert users). Also interested parties and general public have been informed (mainly through the participation to some international conferences or workshops and the production of articles).

The key messages disseminated by SPA (with the agreement of participants to the second stakeholders advisory board meetings) have been:

- security in space is critical to have security FROM space and
- the development of a European SSA capability;
i) will protect space assets and satellite-based services which in turn are protecting EU citizens and operations / missions and consequently will improve the sustainability of space;
ii) will be a key tool to achieve CFSP results supporting national security and sovereignty.

- the main challenge on data policy is to facilitate the optimization of SSA resources usage including the contribution of EU MS capabilities and protecting EU, EU MS and allies interests through security requirements and regulations;
- contributing to SSA activities, the EUSC (a CFSP agency linking space and security) is:
i) exploiting its expertise in secure data handling (highlighting security aspects);
ii) contributing to the protection of space assets needed to perform its mission;
iii) enhancing its know-how by studying SSA-SST services relevant to civilian security and CFSP;
iv) increasing SSA in EU (also spreading gained knowledge).

The SPA FP7 support action is
- under the full control of EU MS benefiting from their support;
- developed in the EUSC secure environment;
- complementing current SSA activities in Europe from a technical side.

All EU Member States have been invited to cooperate on the implementation of the SPA Study and the interested parties have been invited to participate to the SPA technical workshops; moreover representatives from EC, EDA, EEAS and ESA have been invited. More details on the dissemination activities of the SPA project are treated in the SPA D6.6. Summary communications actions with SSA key stakeholders 2.

Dissemination Activities

The SPA project has been presented to 74 events with different targets and 6 abstracts / articles have been accepted in international conferences and workshops.

Table 3-1 and Table 3-2 show the list of scientific publications and dissemination activities performed during the implementation of the SPA support action.

Additionally, three promotional videos have been realized to disseminate the SPA project and the related EUSC activities.

- the SPA webpage, describing the SPA project, has been added to the existing EUSC website;
- the SPA technical forum has been realised and is now open to selected people from EU MS, EC, EEAS, ESA and EDA;
- the first SPA technical workshop has been held at 28 June 2011 with ten participants from EUSC and ten external participants from EU MS, EC, EDA, EEAS and ESA;
- the second SPA technical workshop has been held at 19 January 2012 with nine participants from EUSC and ten external participants from EU MS, EC, EDA, EEAS and ESA;
- the third SPA technical workshop has been held at 12 June 2012 with nine participants from EUSC and eleven external participants from EU MS, EC, EDA, EEAS and ESA.

Exploitable foreground

The mechanism for the exploitation of the SPA project results has been described in the D6.0 'Dissemination plan' and D6.6 'Summary communications actions with SSA key stakeholders 2'. This includes the D6.7 'SPA study report with findings and recommendations', summarising the gained knowledge on SSA during the execution of the SPA study as well as recommendations in view of further developments of SSA in Europe.

Applications for patents, trademarks and registered designs are not applicable within the SPA project.

Report on societal implications

According with the EC reporting guidelines, this section describes the societal implications of the SPA (support to precursor SSA services) project filling out a questionnaire addressed in annex 1.

Moreover, specific information about SPA project societal implications has been already addressed in the following deliverables:

- D7.6: 'Gender issues intermediate report' and D7.7 'Gender issues report'. These two deliverables report on gender aspects within the SPA project.
- Chapter 2.4: 'Potential SPA project impact'. This chapter describes the main benefits of SPA project for the EU, EU Member States, EU citizens and other SSA stakeholders.
- D6.5: 'Summary communications actions with SSA key stakeholders 1' and D6.6 'Summary communications actions with SSA key stakeholders 2'. These deliverables describe the dissemination activities of the SPA project and they also address media and communication issues.

List of websites: