Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - SCOUT (Multitech SeCurity system for intercOnnected space control groUnd staTions)

Project Context and Objectives:
The main goal of SCOUT is the study, design and assessment of a security system based on multiple technologies to protect space control ground stations and the satellite links against physical and cyber attacks, and to activate automatic restoration and intelligent reconfiguration mechanisms in case of failure concerning the ground stations networks and the satellite links.
The SCOUT Project is an answer to the Call SEC-2013.2.2-5 “Security of ground based infrastructure and assets operating space systems – Capability Project”. The task is to assess the vulnerabilities of the space control ground stations, in particular those used by earth observation and satellite navigation systems, and secure communication links to satellites which are seen as critical infrastructure and when possible to propose new methods of protection without making strong assumption about the satellite itself. Regarding the definition of critical infrastructure, we can refer to the document “Critical Infrastructure Protection in the fight against terrorism – COM (2004) 702”: Critical infrastructures consist of those physical and information technology facilities, networks, services and assets which, if disrupted or destroyed, would have a serious impact on the health, safety, security or economic well-being of citizens or prevent the effective functioning of governments in the Member States. Critical infrastructures extend across many sectors of the economy, including banking and finance, transport and distribution, energy, utilities, health, food supply and communications, as well as key government services. In this scenario, the project provides a security system for protecting these critical infrastructures against physical and cyber attacks by ensuring an efficient and continuous functioning of the services of the governmental assets and of the citizens, which are based on satellite communications. The SCOUT project is based on the use of multiple innovative and low impact technologies for the protection of space control ground stations and the satellite links against physical and cyber attacks. It also considers the ground station network intelligent reconfiguration in case of failure.
The SCOUT system implements three main security functionalities by three different subsystems: SENSNET for physical attack protection; CYBERSENS for cyber attack detection and countermeasures; RECOVER for automatic restoration and reconfiguration of the space control ground station network.
Finally, the SCOUT Main Control Unit manages and coordinates the functionalities of the three SCOUT subsystems. It is composed of a data processing unit that collects and processes data coming from SENSNET and CYBERSENS to create situational awareness picture. It is completed with two risk analysis tools, to identify the vulnerabilities of the ground station against physical and cyber attacks.

To achieve SCOUT project, the following specific objectives have to be reached:

− Objective 1. Define the operative and system requirements.
− Objective 2. Define and develop two risk analysis tools, one devoted to physical intrusions and the other to cyber attacks.
− Objective 3. Define an architectural solution for the SCOUT systems.
− Objective 4. Study, design and analyse a scalable distributed multi-sensor network for protection against physical attacks.
− Objective 5. Study, design and analyse a distributed telecommunication network sensing system, for the detection and protection of telecommunication links against cyber attacks.
− Objective 6. Study, design and analyse a management network system for automatic restoration and intelligence reconfiguration of a space control ground station network.
− Objective 7. Study, design and analyse a centralized Main Control Unit to manage and coordinate the functionalities of the three SCOUT subsystems.
− Objective 8. Develop a proof of concept demonstrator
− Objective 9. Define a roadmap for the exploitation of the SCOUT project results.

Project Results:
SCOUT project implementation will last three years, and its work plan is divided in seven work packages. WP1 concentrates all tasks linked with the management of the consortium. WP2 to WP4 refer to research and technological development activities. WP5 gathers demonstration activities. WP6 is devoted to dissemination and exploitation of project results. Finally, WP7 concentrates all tasks linked with the ethical, legal and societal aspects.
Further description of the work performed up to this reporting period is detailed below:
• WP1. Project Management.
Coordination, supervision and administration actions are being held to ensure the correct implementation of the project.
• WP2. Operative and system requirements.
The operative needs and the system requirements of the SCOUT system were defined. Since these requirements are strongly affected by ethical, privacy and data protection regulations a deep analysis of these issues have been preliminary carried out in another specific task of this WP.
• WP3. Risk analysis tools.
This WP is devoted to the design and development of risk analysis tools for the SCOUT project. Physical and cybersecurity vulnerabilities have been analysed taking into account the work done in WP2 in order to identify and evaluate the assets, threats and all the parameters necessary for determining risks and defining safeguards.
A detailed study of standards for risk analysis and open source tools has been carried out and two methodologies, namely Magerit and AEI, have been analysed in order to select the approach to be used within the SCOUT project.
• WP4. SCOUT system design and analysis.
The objective of the WP4 is the design and analysis of the SCOUT multitech system. The WP aims at providing a new tool for the protection of the space control ground stations facilities against physical and cyber attacks. SCOUT also offers a network reconfiguration system in the case of faults. The SCOUT system architecture has been defined on the basis of the system requirements derived from the work carried out in WP2. Moreover, the architectures of the main SCOUT subsystems have been proposed and their functionalities has been detailed. Finally, the interactions of the main SCOUT subsystems, namely SENSNET, CYBERSENS, RECOVER, MCU and RISK layers have been defined.
• WP5. SCOUT demonstrator design, realization and testing.
The aim of this work package is to realize a demonstrator of the SCOUT system in order to test and assess its performance in a real scenario.
Preliminary investigations on the demonstration scenario have been done; specifically the study was focused on defining a list of possible critical structures and systems for the demonstration; a preliminary choice of the demonstration trials has been also done.
• WP6. Dissemination and exploitation.
Broad dissemination of the project activities has been done, mainly by using the web site and publications. Moreover, the project dissemination plan has been detailed by identifying the main objectives of the dissemination strategy, establishing criteria to prioritize them in order to focus on the main stakeholders and to clarify the way to reach them.
• WP7. Ethical, Legal & Societal Aspects.
All ethical, legal and societal aspects of the project are continuously monitored during the development of the project in concert with the ethical expert analysis; possible actions to be undertaken for mitigating the ethical and societal impact have considered.

Potential Impact:
The capability improvements introduced by the SCOUT project concerning early warning security systems are:
• The SCOUT system provides a remote security system (SENSNET) that offers 3D volumetric surveillance, also including low flying aerial target detection.
• The SENSNET uses low or null electromagnetic power emission sensors, and can be considered a Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) system. It relies on the following technologies:
− Passive Bistatic Radars (PBRs), which make use of broadcast telecommunication signals already present in the environment without generating any other kind of waveform.
− Noise Radars, which emit signal at the noise level. They can be used to optimize the human beings detection capability, by using the innovative noise radar sensor to detect human beings breathing, heartbeats, and objects hidden under clothes.
− Radiometric SAR.
− The SCOUT system also exploits typical sensors present in critical buildings, mainly RFID systems and infrared cameras, to maximize early warning.
• When possible and especially for PBRs, digital architectures based on Software Defined Radio (SDR) technologies are going to be used (at least for the demonstrator) due to its high level of reconfigurability, flexibility, reliability and robustness.
• SCOUT provides cyber security through the CYBERSENS subsystem, which is mainly based on the honey technology that is reliable and effective. Usage of hardware and software probes with a certain level of redundancy increases the robustness of the cyber-attack protection subsystem.
• The RECOVER subsystem also makes use of distributed Smart Sensor Network paradigm, where the reconfiguration and control is implemented by distributed logic. Innovative technological solutions as the use of virtualization to simplify the underlying network/security architecture and to introduce a higher level of abstraction by defining logical networks, logical edges and logical zones, have been studied and exploited.

List of Websites:

Reported by



Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top