As the world gets more digitalized and dependent on space technologies, efforts in the research community are concentrating to fully grasp the impact and effects of failed outer space technologies, as well as their connection to the Earth-based systems and services, both military and civilian. Space-based assets and systems are critical to ensuring security on Earth (“security from space”), and, at the same time, these assets need to be protected in the challenging environment of outer space (“security of space”).
Space critical infrastructures represent an interdependent system of systems that comprises its workforce, environment, facilities, and multidirectional interactions. Space critical infrastructures are essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions – like health, safety, security, mobility, economic or social well-being of people, and whose destruction or disruption would have a significant impact on the society at large. This is a holistic approach to space critical infrastructure, away from strictly defined space technologies, towards understanding the resilience of complex systems, and how they are intertwined in reality.
Today, a total of 79 nations and government consortia operate satellites. Besides, 11 countries operate 22 launch sites. Despite creating new challenges, this multi-actor environment opens opportunities for international cooperation – including within NATO member and partner nations.
The NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW), entitled “Critical Space Infrastructure: From Vulnerabilities and Threats to Resilience,” was held on 21–22 May 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. It was organized by the Old Dominion University and the Technical University of Moldova in collaboration with the State University of New York at Albany. The workshop was enabled by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Program.
The ARW brought together representatives from academia, industry, and international organizations in order to deepen scientific and technological understanding of space critical infrastructures and explore the implications for national and international space security and resiliency. This ARW examined the space as a critical infrastructure from a multidisciplinary perspective in accordance with NATO’s Strategic Concept. The strategic concept warns about the deployment of technologies that threaten allied capabilities in space and recognizes as an urgent priority the protection of the Alliance’s critical infrastructures.
In this book, highlights from the discussions in the ARW are shared in 29 chapters under six sections, which are:
I. Governance of Space Critical Infrastructures
II. Cybersecurity of Space Infrastructures
III. Risk, Resiliency, and Complexity of Space Infrastructures
IV. Emerging Technologies for Space Infrastructures: Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing
V. Application Domains for Critical Space Systems
VI. National Approaches and Applications for Critical Space Infrastructures