The Cost of Non Europe in the Field of Satellite Based Systems

In recent years the European Union has become increasingly aware of its security and defence environment as it has taken on a growing international profile such as in relation to negotiations with Iran or in regional crisis management operations from the Balkans, Indonesia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the EU's landmark 2003 European Security Strategy these challenges are described as diverse in their form and in their objective, ranging from classical military hotspots to less conventional security threats targeting our societies. It is therefore to be expected that the EU and its Member States will want access to the full range of capabilities, including space-based capabilities, to successfully carry out its security and defence roles. Space technologies have evolved to become central enabling assets in modern defence and security systems. Space based assets use a “neutral” environment, i.e. outer space, to locate sensors or communication devices. In turn, space-based systems provide unique capabilities at all levels of the so-called “information chain”. Such systems provide unique capabilities for data acquisition worldwide, for long-range transmission and for focused dissemination of the information to users on the ground. Space applications can also be used for “security” in the broadest sense. For instance, at the EU level initiatives are being developed to respond to new security requirements, whether it concerns the constant monitoring of our planet or tackling more immediate threats such as terrorism or responding to vulnerable critical infrastructures in Europe and its neighbourhood. Space assets can also help monitor suspect industrial installations in the context of verification and disarmament activities. In such cases, both civil and military planners need access to information from space-based systems. Responding to natural and man-made crises also requires a capability to exploit large flows of complex data for a range of civil and military actors. Helping to fill the security requirement gap requires, an all-inclusive European security architecture that integrates both civil and military systems, and space-based and non-space based technologies.

Study requested by the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Security and Defence to Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS) and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).

Brussels, European Parliament, December 2007, 75 p. (European Parliament Policy Department External Policies Study)
Publication date: 

Introduction: The role of space for defence and security

Part 1. Satellite systems for defence and security in Europe
I. European requirements for improved defence and security capabilities
II. Identifying the European Union's need for use of space applications for European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
III. Space-based capabilities and their use for defence and security
1. Earth Observation by satellite
2. Telecommunications by satellite
3. Navigation and positioning for security: the role of Galileo
4. Space-based signal and electronic intelligence capabilities
IV. The strategic dimension of the space sector: access to space, independence of information

Part 2. Trends in existing systems for defence and security in Europe
I. National security and defence: Earth observation programmes
1. The French experience
(a) Spot/Hélios family
(b) Pleiades constellation
2. New developments in the Earth Observation Sector
(a) Italian Cosmo-Skymed SAR satellites constellation
(b) The German Sar-Lupe programme
(c) The UK SSTL programmes and Topsat Satellite
(d) Other programmes
3. Cooperation in EO sector
(a) Hélios 1 and 2 cooperation framework: lessons learned
(b) Bilateral agreements
(c) The state of an operational EU asset to support CFSP in particular ESDP: the case of the Satellite Centre of the European Union (EUSC)
(d) Future trends: from BOC to MUSIS
(e) Defence forces/MoD: a user for civilian security space program
II. Telecommunication satellites
1. Telecom satellite technologies for defence, a service often based upon civilian systems
2. Main existing systems: French, Italian, Spanish and UK systems
3. New service-based approach for telecommunications: the NATO Satcom contract, Paradigme/Skynet procurement
4. The new German project SatcomBw
5. The access of “non-space” countries to telecommunication services for defence
6. Other ongoing programmes: Athena-Fidus, DRS/Artemis
III. Developing space technologies: early warning and ELINT French experimental systems
1. Early Warning Demonstration programme
2. French ELINT perspectives
IV. First perspectives for a future European space-based architecture
1. Closer civilian and military needs and technologies, but enduring differences
2. Possible progresses for a European cooperative scheme: evolutionary rather than revolutionary
3. The concept of an integrated European space-based architecture: an answer to the need for a better utilization of dispersed resources
4. What preliminary options for a balanced European architecture?

Part 3. Space, security and defence: policy aspects
I. The separation between defence and security in space
II. Future trends
1. Industrial aspects
2. Economic aspects
(a) Current State
(b) Matching needs and money: a proposal
3. Estimating the global effect of the Distribution of Costs: what perspectives of economies of scale through more Europeanization of EO and telecommunication defence and security space systems?
4. Synthesis of possible cost reduction distribution by Europeanizing existing Earth Observation and telecommunication satellite programmes
III. European cooperation and governance
1. The different models
2. The importance of new research program
3. The potential role of the European Defence Agency (EDA)

Part 4. Recommendations for the European Parliament
About the Authors and the Institutes

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