Date: December 09, 2020
Autor: Ewelina Kaatz-Drzeżdżon
The strategic role of secure satellite communication capability in achieving a higher level of Europe’s independence and competitiveness was discussed during a dedicated session at the UE Space Week 2020. The session entitled “Secure satellite communications for a stronger Europe in the world” took place on 9 December 2020, and was moderated by Dr Norbert Frischauf.
“Our objective is to offer GOVSATCOM and anticipate future needs, and accelerate solutions. Pandemic has revealed the dependency of our whole technology on communications.”, said Ekaterini Kavvada, Director of Development and Innovation and DG DEFIS. “Space industry can take forward a paradigm shift and deliver state of the art connectivity system, able to offer more indigenous and cost-effective services and applications.”, she added.
Stefano Scarda, Policy Officer at the European Commission, DG DEFIS, described GOVSATCOM preparation development activities. Scada explained that GOVSATCOM will become an integral component of the EU Space Programme in 2021. It will have legal basis and dedicated budget for the period 2021-2027. The European Commission launched the first procurement of the GOVSATCOM hub, which will use existing capacities of Member States, and implement sharing and pooling principles. Scarda mentioned the ENTRUSTED project among initiatives securing “solid dialogue with users”, together with the User Consultation Platform (UCP) and the institutional dialogue with representatives of Member States in the Expert working group.
Results of the latest GOVSATCOM User Consultation Platform, which took place on 2 December 2020, were presented by Flavio Sbardellati, Market Development Technology Officer at the European GNSS Agency. “It is the moment to understand what users need and what their requirements are.”, he said referring to secure SatCom. Sbardellati presented the ENTRUSTED project, launched in the frame of Horizon 2020, aimed at gathering governmental users, establishing collaboration between them, and achieving a common understanding of user needs and requirements. He informed about an EU-wide survey study which will be conducted over 3 months. The survey will be instrumental in consolidating EU GOVSATCOM user perspective and assessing available user technology. The ENTRUSTED consortium will also conduct demonstration with the objective to showcase the benefit of pooling and sharing of SatCom resources for selected uses cases.
Subsequent speakers, including Magdalena Martinez de Mendijur – Project Officer for satellite communications at the European Maritime Safety Agency, Laurent Alfonso – European Affairs Officer, French Ministry of the Interior, Miguel Saiz – Strategy and Planning Manager at EEAS-CPCC, discussed opportunities offered by linking connectivity with space to provide high-speed connectivity using European digital technologies and a European supply chain.