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Preparation for the establishment of a European SST Service provision function

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PASS (Preparation for the establishment of a European SST Service provision function)

Reporting period: 2014-09-01 to 2016-12-31

Space assets and activities are indispensable for the well-being of the European citizens and economy. According to the Lisbon Treaty, the protection of European space infrastructures and, in particular, the setup of a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) capability at European level, represents a programmatic priority of the EU space policy.
SSA refers to the knowledge of the situation of the space environment, including both location and function of space objects and space weather phenomena. SSA covers three areas: Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST); Space Weather; and Near-Earth Objects.
A European SSA capability and in particular its SST segment would allow the protection of European space infrastructures against the threat of man-made space objects, by preventing or at least mitigating any damage caused by such objects.
The SST Decision 541/2014/EU has established an SST Support Framework (SST-SF) to ensure the long-term availability of European and national space infrastructure facilities and services. The SatCen’s “expertise in handling classified information in a secure environment and its tight institutional links with the EU Member States (MS) ” have been recognised by the SST Decision as representing “an asset facilitating the handling and delivery of SST services (i.e. collision avoidance, re-entry analysis and fragmentation analysis)”. Under previous FP7 actions, SatCen has backed, from a technical perspective, the development of a SST Data Policy and has provided a forum for discussion having facilitated a dialogue among key European SSA stakeholders.
The Preparation for the establishment of a European SST Service Provision Function (PASS) H2020 coordination and support action strived to ensure the transition of SatCen SSA activities from the general studies under the FP7 actions, towards its contribution to the implementation of the SST-SF.
PASS has contributed to the definition of an SST Service Provision Function and the setup of the initial EUSST Front Desk delivering Initial Services within the SST-SF. PASS has identified necessary functional elements, security provisions and interfaces with relevant SST actors, supported by the development of the EUSST Portal, while it has explored the different contexts and scenarios for the cooperation of SatCen within the SST-SF.
The development of PASS has been adapted to the pace of the implementation of the SST-SF and complemented the activities performed under the 2SST2015 project, supporting the fulfilment of the SatCen´s role within the SST-SF as Front Desk. PASS management structure and procedures have facilitated the required flexibility and adaptability on its execution, while ensuring the quality of its results.
More specifically, PASS has proposed a pilot design and implementation of an SST Service Provision Function and associated interfaces. The pilot is a prototype, small-scale representative working model responding to identified needs for delivering initial SST services within the SST-SF since 1 July 2016. It has been developed and adapted alongside the continuous feedback from the SST Consortium becoming the first instance of the EUSST Portal.
PASS has produced a detailed description of each SST service identifying a set of representative users. Additionally, PASS has elaborated on the specific needs and interface requirements towards the SST users for each relevant SST service and on the specific input interfaces needs required between the Service Provision and the Processing Functions, i.e. SST information and service providers, in order to deliver each SST service. PASS outputs, especially on the definition of the EUSST User needs, have been considered into the EUSST Project activities.
The project has identified and documented common SST Service Provision Functions required to deliver the SST services, as well as coordination interfaces (including data policy and governance) with responsible entities.
Finally, PASS has identified and described a potential list of SatCen cooperation options to be considered into the SST-SF activities.
Transversally, dissemination and communication activities have aligned the short and long-term development of the EUSST Front Desk with the needs, feedback and recommendations from the SST actors involved during the initial phase of the SST-SF. A strong interaction has taken place with relevant entities involved in the setting up of the SST-SF, in particular with the Designated National Entities by the five MS forming the SST Consortium.
PASS has had an impact on the Work Programme 2014-2015 Action 2, aiming at ensuring the transition of SatCen activities towards its contribution to the SST-SF, which is being established by the Galileo, Copernicus and H2020 1,2&3SST2015 projects. The 1SST2015 provides early SST services to users utilising existing operational SST assets from the SST Consortium via the EUSST Front Desk managed by SatCen. The 2SST2015 supports the pooling of national resources to prepare for the establishment of an SST sensor network, an SST processing function and the delivery of SST services via the EUSST Front Desk. The 3SST2015 intends to identify and prioritise assets needed to improve the overall performance of the SST-SF. Furthermore, PASS has proposed technical interfaces towards the SST information providers and the SST users, implementing the first instance of the EUSST Portal, interfacing with the SST actors and proposing a list of cooperation options for SatCen within the SST-SF.
In addition to this, PASS has had an impact contributing towards the H2020 Programme, which refers among others to safeguarding Union space infrastructures and programmes, such as Copernicus and Galileo. The setup of the EUSST Portal has significantly contributed to those objectives by enabling the delivery of initial SST services. Furthermore, the development of the EUSST Portal has enhanced innovation, as well as the capacity through the definition of SST Service Provision interfaces, the identification of solutions in security and data handling and the generation of new knowledge covering the identified gaps at technical and organisational levels.
It is significant that PASS has provided tangible elements for the cooperation of SatCen with the MS constituting the SST Consortium. PASS has contributed to the establishment of the initial EUSST Front Desk and the operational delivery of initial SST Services to users via the EUSST Portal since 1 July 2016. Additionally, PASS has also contributed to the identification of cooperation options for SatCen within the SST-SF.
PASS has also provided indirect support to those EU policies that use space technology for their implementation and consider a European SSA capability necessary in order to achieve their objectives. Apart from that, it has enhanced the non-dependence of the EU in the research field under the H2020 programme regarding space issues and the provision of SST services.
Besides, the achievement of PASS has had a socio-economic impact on the area of freedom, security and justice in terms of the critical infrastructure protection (Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus programmes). In order to protect space infrastructures for the well-functioning of the economic activities and the safety and security of the EU citizens, an SST capability would be necessary, towards which the PASS project has had an important contribution.
Artistic representation of the space debris in Low Earth Orbit.