Proposals for the European Union’s Seventh Framework space and security research programme will emerge from the soon-to-be-completed €2.94 million ($3.5 million) European Advanced Space Technology to Support Security Operations (ASTRO+) study. A roadmap of proposals is expected to cover technologies for navigation, Earth imaging, data dissemination and broadband communications.

If undertaken, the research would contribute to the European Commission and European Space Agency joint Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. ASTRO+, a 15-month EC-industry collaboration that began in January 2005, has studied how space capabilities could support security operations outside Europe.

“It emerged that in an emergency the military, civilian government and non-government organisations needs were very different. We have to find a more flexible solution. This would be the ‘S’ in GMES,” says Bruno Vatan, ground segment export and security business development manager with EADS Astrium’s Earth observation engineering division.

ASTRO+ included an earthquake disaster simulation, with a situation room in Poland. The simulation, in which an earthquake had destroyed a dam leading to mass evacuation, was carried out near Vasso, Poland, although the study’s scenario assumed a location outside Europe. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service was used for navigation with commercial imaging services from Spotimage and Ikonos for Earth observation.

EADS Astrium led a team of 18 including Alcatel Alenia Space, French space agency CNES, German aerospace centre DLR, the European Union Satellite Centre, Indra Espacio, Telespazio and the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

Source: Flight International