UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Romania, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), together with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) organized between 29 and 30 August the 2nd IAA Conference on Space Systems as Critical Infrastructure in Mamaia, Romania. Among the participants were experts in the domains of space systems and critical infrastructures within ROSA, the Military Equipment and Technologies Research Agency (METRA), the European Institute for Risk, Security and Communication Management (EURISC) and from specialized organizations in Poland, Italy and Germany. The private sector was represented by RARTEL, a company that offers satellite imagery in Romania, and by GMV Romania, which offers advanced technical solutions for the space domain and for critical infrastructures. Moreover, his excellency Sorin Encutescu, the Senior Advisor for National Security to the Prime Minister, participated in the conference as a special guest, presenting the Romanian Legislation for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure.
The first session of the conference was dedicated to presenting the status report of the IAA Study Group on Space Systems as Critical Infrastructure but also the results of the first phase of the national project CRITSYS – Space Systems as Critical Infrastructure, developed by ROSA, METRA and EURISC. The three-year project targets the creation of instruments and methodologies for the identification of risks, threats and vulnerabilities with respect to space critical infrastructure (SCI) and the identification of relations with the terrestrial sectors, such as Energy, Transport, ICT, etc. The goal is to assure the quality of life, safety, and continuity of economic activity.
Besides the identification and preliminary evaluation of SCI, the first phase of the project CRITSYS elaborated a set of quantitative and qualitative parameters that will help conceptualize and measure the criticality of a space system. Furthermore, global effects of SCI malfunction and destruction were presented, such as cascading failures of terrestrial critical infrastructure (loss of communications, control and coordination, etc).
The second session was dedicated to technical presentations such as Improving data protection for Earth satellite station networks, the SSA Programme and its impact on space critical infrastructure, the development of satellite launch capabilities and the use of space systems for solving specific Romanian issues (floods, agriculture terrain monitoring, protection of Romanian infrastructures). Also, Dr. Anatoly N. Perminov, the IAA Vice-President –Science, submitted a poster presentation on IGMASS Project and Protection of Space Infrastructure.
In conclusion, space-based systems enable a wide spectrum of applications which play a fundamental role in our everyday life (TV, Internet or geo positioning), are critical to key areas of the economy, help ensure our security, and, therefore, the ability to protect space infrastructure has become essential to our society. Any shutdown of even a part of space infrastructures could have significant consequences for the well-functioning of economic activities and our citizens' safety, and would impair the provision of emergency services.