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European bodies advance new measures to help protect critical space-based infrastructure

The Committee of Permanent Representatives has endorsed an agreement between the Hellenic Presidency of the Council and European Parliament representatives with a view to establishing a European surveillance and tracking service. This will have the aim of enhancing the security of space infrastructures and the safety of satellite operations by reducing collision risks and helping to monitor space debris.

Space infrastructure is increasingly threatened by collision risks due to the growing population of satellites and the amount of space debris. In order to mitigate the risk of collision it is necessary to identify and monitor satellites and space debris, catalogue their positions, and track their movements. When a potential risk of collision has been identified satellite operators can then be alerted in time to move their satellites.

This activity is known as space surveillance and tracking (SST) and operational SST services do not currently exist at a European level.

The new SST support framework will foster the networking of national SST assets to provide SST services for the benefit of both public and private operators of critical space-based infrastructures.

More details.

•Date: 7th February 2014 • Europe •Type: Article • Topic: Critical infrastructure protection

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