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CGI supports creation of the European satellite constellation UN:IO
by Staff Writers
Darmstadt, Germany (SPX) Apr 22, 2022


The European Commission has contracted IT service provider CGI as part of a consortium to contribute its expertise in the fields of space and cybersecurity for helping to build the independent European satellite constellation dubbed UN:IO. It is expected to begin operating commercial and institutional communication channels by 2025. ?

The European Union's top priority is a secure, extremely fast, independent communications network. It is therefore planning to launch a European satellite constellation with 400 satellites linked by laser ground stations, which will begin operating by 2025. In the first step, the EU Commission is contributing 1.4 million euros to support a concept study.

The goal of this first phase is to determine how the required capacities can be ensured for both commercial and institutional communications. This includes high-speed Internet, autonomous mobility on water and land and in the air, automatic exchanging of information between systems, support for humanitarian activities, and applications to benefit government agencies, companies, and residents. An innovative quantum encryption technology will provide robust protection from cyberattacks.

By issuing an invitation to bid for carrying out a study, in which CGI successfully participated, the European Commission has helped to drive new collaboration among large corporations, small and midsized companies, and startups active in the "new space" sector to accelerate the pace of innovation. In recent years CGI has invested more heavily in its own space division and is supporting the project as a member of the UN:IO consortium, among other things by developing an innovative automated concept of operations (CONOPS) for the satellite constellation.

The IT service provider is also developing the specifications for a comprehensive cybersecurity concept for the ground stations as well as systems to ensure the functionality, stability, and reliability of the associated IT. CGI's other tasks include integrating both the future EU GOVSATCOM infrastructure and associated pooling and sharing systems like the GOVSATCOM hub. Its agenda also extends to designing security scenarios to enable the concurrent use of communication services by private users and government institutions.

Ulli Leibnitz, Senior Vice President and the head of CGI SPACE Germany, stated that "CGI has accumulated relevant experience in the space sector, and not only from being involved in building the global Galileo satellite navigation system. We have been providing complex, reliable software and system solutions for space applications for more than 40 years as a reliable partner to industry and space agencies.

"We're therefore very pleased to have this opportunity to support the creation of the European UN:IO satellite network, especially by contributing our expertise in the fields of cybersecurity and space ground system architecture, and help strengthen Europe's technological autonomy."

The EU's UN:IO consortium will showcase its technical solutions in detail in summer.

Note: This project has received funding from the European Union, represented by the European Commission and the Directorate-General for Defense Industry and Space (DEFIS) under service contract DEFIS/2021/OP/005/2. Related Links
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Kymeta and OneWeb Technologies announced an agreement to distribute reliable, secure, and cost-effective broadband connectivity services to the U.S. government. The new managed satellite service offering enables Kymeta to provide government customers with hardware solutions that are packaged with secure and resilient network access from OneWeb Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb. Access to broadband connectivity services fr ... read more

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