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Second funding line in 2015 for the establishment of a European SST Service provision function

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - 2SST2015 (Second funding line in 2015 for the establishment of a European SST Service provision function)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-06-30

The Periodical Technical Report provides a description of the activities carried out in the 2SST2015 project (“Second Funding line in 2015 for the establishment of a European Space Surveillance and Tracking Service provision function”) funded under H2020 Space and H2020 Security. The report mainly covers the nine months from 1st October 2016 until 30th of June 2017.

The project is carried out by a Consortium comprising bodies (ASI, CDTI, CNES, DLR and UKSA) designated by five participating Member States and supported by the EU SatCen. This Consortium was formed in 2015 resulting from the implementation of the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Support Framework, established by the DECISION No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014. The SST Support Framework supports actions aiming at establishing a SST capability at the European level, in order to contribute to ensuring the long-term availability of European and national space infrastructure, facilities and services which are essential for the security, safety of the economies, societies and citizens in Europe. It responds to the recognised need for Europe to develop a European SST capability for the monitoring and surveillance of space objects, with a view to preventing damage to spacecrafts resulting from collisions and the proliferation of space debris, that is an increasingly serious threat to the security, safety and sustainability of space activities. In addition, it aims at predicting trajectories and re- entry paths, in order to provide the best information to governmental and civil protection services in the event of uncontrolled re-entries of entire spacecraft or space debris thereof into the Earth's atmosphere.

The 2SST2015 project specifically aimed at supporting the networking of national SST resources to prepare for the establishment of a SST sensor network, a SST processing function and the delivery of SST services. The project is meant as the first of activity series in the upcoming years and is running in parallel with the 1SST2015 project for initial service provision and the 3SST2015 project for SST road mapping and infrastructure.
The first phase of the project has focused on the set up of a governance scheme for the Consortium covering programmatic, technical and security related discussion and decision platform with the objective to foster harmonisation and cooperation between the European SST stakeholders. The developed governance model represents a novel case in Europe of collaboration of both civilian and military stakeholders.

Overall the project has established a sensor function consisting of a network of sensors (radars, telescopes, laser stations) operated by the EUSST Consortium Member States to survey and track space objects, of a processing function to process and analyse the SST data by the EUSST Consortium Member States Operation Centres and the set up a service function to provide SST services (Conjunction Analysis, Re-Entry and Fragmentation) to users.

The preparation of these functions has led to the timely delivery of early SST services on 1st July 2016 in the 1SST2015 project. The activities have covered the definition of the Common Garantueed Baseline for the three services (CA, RE and FG) and added values based on the SST resources capacities, as well as integrating the SST sensors in the national SST systems under the control of the Operating Centres and establishing connectivity among the Operation Centres. The project teams have carried out the mapping of European SST sensor resources in the European Sensor Almanac, of SST databases, algorithms, data exchange and formats, resulting in the agreement of common standards such as the handover procedure for RE and FG services.

The website www.eusst.eu accessible to the public has been set up for dissemination of the EUSST projects, commonly referred as EUSST.
Potential users and user needs have been identified. Interaction with the users has been established, notably by means of user feedback from the services provided, and dedicated meetings, such as the User Forum and workshops with satellite operators, to collect drivers for the consolidation of the initial services.
The action has established the first instance of the sensor, data processing and service provision functions and laid the basis for a standardised delivery of SST related services for governmental, military and commercial European users.

The services contribute to reducing the risks to in-orbit operations of European spacecraft related to collision; reduce the risks relating to the launch of European spacecraft; and the generation of relevant information related to uncontrolled re-entries of spacecraft or space debris into the Earth's atmosphere; to prevent the proliferation of space debris

The established governance model represents a novel case in Europe of collaboration of both civilian and military stakeholders. It has enhanced significantly the European level of SST-programmatic, technical and security related discussion and decision platform with the objective to foster harmonisation and cooperation between the European SST stakeholders.

The impacts of the action include the protection of European space assets, which are essential for Europe’s economy, security and society and decreasing the level of European dependence on non-EU SST services; providing a better understanding of the current European capabilities, and preparing the appropriate analyses to guide the future evolution of the European SST activities and the SST Support Framework; and improving SST services delivered to European users.