Meir Moalem, Founder and CEO of Sky and Space Global (UK) LTD, with European and Israeli centers of Aerospace, Satellite, and Software; participates in Risk Roundup to discuss “NanoSatellites”. Prior to Sky and Space Global, Meir has served as the head of Space Systems Branch in the Israeli Air Force, and led the MEDIEX experiment on Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) as the project manager for Israel first astronaut flight and has also led Israel’s satellite projects including Ofeq and Techsar. Meir was awarded the Israel’s National Security Award in 2009
Progress and development necessitates exploring the unknown, and exploring the unknowns requires us to push the boundaries of science and technology. Irrespective of whether it is exploring the cyberspace, geospace or space; science and technology driven exploration helps us solve fundamental problems facing humanity, for not only today, but also the coming tomorrow.
As we begin space exploration, satellites seem to be playing a very important role in space endeavors. From the very first satellite that captured the attention of the world, and launched the beginning of the space age exploration, to the thousands of satellites that we see today in space; satellites have gone through fundamental transformation and brought revolution and evolution.
Thousands of satellites, of all size and shapes are operational in space today. While many of these satellites are often positioned outward for scientific exploration purposes and a better view of the universe; there are many satellites that are pointing inward towards us, to give us a better view of earth itself. And there are also those satellites that are pointing sideways to monitor other satellites and so on.
It is not just the position and direction of the satellites that is evolving, the size and nature of satellites are evolving too!
Satellites are becoming smaller. These miniaturizing tiny satellites, nanosatellites, are revolutionizing the space endeavors and industry, as they can do everything traditional satellites are able to; and that too, in a much more affordable and effective manner.
What is promising is that, the accuracy, affordability, accessibility and adaptability offered by these tiny satellites is giving nations a new way to chart and explore, not only the enormity of space, but also help us manage the complexity of our planet earth in cyberspace, geospace and space.
Democratization of Space
We are witnessing what can be described as democratization of space. The reason it is called democratization of space is largely because, over the years, access to space used to be exclusive, expensive, and restricted to governments and few other selected corporations. Now, nanosatellites seem to be transforming space access, and making it affordable and accessible to everyone; individuals and entities across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA).
Today, individuals as well as entities across NGIOA can build its own nanosatellites and launch them.
With the democratization of space, sending satellites into space is expected to get cheaper. Moreover, there are strong indicators that show that the space exploration is moving towards distributed ownership of space assets along with the data and communication services they produce. This is transformational, as collective efforts will lead to collective intelligence, that would help humans achieve their goals in cyberspace, geospace and space.
Need for Evaluation for Security Risks
While nanosatellite driven space exploration is growing rapidly, we need to take a cautious step in understanding the complex challenges arising due to connected computers, computer code, and internet as cyberspace brings complex challenges to not only geospace but also space. We need to begin by evaluating:
- What impact will democratization of space bring to cyberspace, geospace and space?
- What has shifted the approach towards miniaturization of satellites?
- How does this new emerging economic model of sharing economy in space revolutionize the systems in cyberspace, geospace and space?
- How many nanosatellites are in the space currently and how many more will be there in the coming years?
- What are some interesting nanosatellite projects going on across nations?
- How costly are nanosatellites and its launch?
- What makes nanosatellites most appealing for space initiatives?
- How big is the nanosatellites market?
- What are the launch platform for nanosatellites?
- What advances in technology, processes and policies made rapid proliferation of nano satellites possible and affordable?
- What technical advances are necessary for creating the effective infrastructure for the satellite sharing economy in space?
- What capabilities nanosatellites have brought us and what are we hoping to achieve as we move forward?
- What is the current state of nanosatellites products and services? What innovations are emerging?
- What is the nature of the evolving space systems?
- What role will blockchain play in the emerging nano satellite based space systems?
- How secured are the space initiatives today? Are nanosatellites based systems secure?
- Are satellites the next cyber-security battleground? What are the emerging threats?
- What kind of encryption space satellites are using??
- What are different ways space systems can be secured?
- How many organizations are offering cyber defense services for satellites or space programs?
- What challenges/obstacles are there for the nanosatellite space systems?
- How will we manage the unchartered territory of space- warfare when we still must contain cyber-warfare?
Democratization of Space is on its way– at least as far as the lower orbits are concerned. While these miniaturized nanosatellites are affordable, accessible, adaptable, effective and deployable, and are going into space at an ever-increasing rate, it is important to evaluate its security impact on cyberspace, geospace and space (CGS).
Now is the time to talk about the risks emerging due to nano-satellites and the democratization of space.
About the Guest
A jet fighter pilot, Lt. Col (Res.) of the IAF, has over 20 years of experience in management, R&D and operation of state-of-the-art projects in Space Systems and UAS. Meir is a Founder of SSG and its CEO and Managing Director. Meir served as the head of Space Systems Branch in the Israeli Air Force, led the MEDIEX experiment on Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) as the project manager for Israel first astronaut flight and led Israel’s satellite projects including Ofeq and Techsar. During his many years of service, Meir worked with high level national security contacts, planning for strategic security requirements, projects initiation, development and design management, policy making, total responsibility for planning, while managing multi-million project budgets. Meir holds a B.Sc. in Physics from Ben Gurion University, M.A. in national security from Tel Aviv University and is in final stage of his PhD. Meir was awarded the Israel National Security Award in 2009.
About the Host of Risk Roundup
Jayshree Pandya (née Bhatt) is a visionary leader, who is working passionately with imagination, insight and boldness to achieve Global Peace through Risk Management. It is her strong belief that collaboration between and across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA) will be mutually beneficial to all—for not only in the identification and understanding of critical risks facing one nation, but also for managing the interconnected and interdependent risks facing all nations. She calls on nations to build a shared sense of identity and purpose, for how the NGIOA framework is structured will determine the survival and success of nations in the digital global age. She sees the big picture, thinks strategically and works with the power of intentionality and alignment for a higher purpose—for her eyes are not just on the near at hand but on the future of humanity!
At Risk Group, Jayshree is defining the language of risks and currently developing thought leadership, researching needed practices, tools, framework and systems to manage the “strategic and shared cyber-security, geo-security and space-security risks facing nations today in a digital global age. She believes that the contested commons of cyberspace or space cannot be secured if NGIOA works in silo within and across its geographical boundaries in cyberspace, geospace and space. As security requires an integrated NGIOA approach with a common language, she has launched cyber-security, geo-security and space-security risk research centers that will merge the boundaries of geo-security, cyber-security and space-security.
Previously, she launched and managed “Risk Management Matters”, an online risk journal and one of the first risk publications, publishing “Industry Risk Reports of Biotechnology, Energy, Healthcare, Nanotechnology, and Natural Disasters” over the course of five years. Jayshree’s inaugural book, “The Global Age: NGIOA @ Risk”, was published by Springer in 2012.
About Risk Roundup
Risk Roundup, a global initiative launched by Risk Group, is an integrated cyberspace, geospace, and space (CGS) security risk dialogue for individuals and entities across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA).
Risk Roundup is released in both audio (Podcast) and video (Webcast) format and is available for subscription at (Risk Group Website, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Android, and Risk Group Professional Social Media).
About Risk Group
Risk Group is a strategic security risk research organization. It focuses broadly on the risks facing individuals and entities across nations: its governments, industries, organizations, and academia (in short referred to as NGIOA). Its approach is broad, encircling cyberspace, geospace and space (in short referred to as CGS). It firmly believes that collaboration within, between and across NGIOA will be mutually beneficial to all stakeholders across nations—for not only in the identification and understanding of critical CGS security risks facing one nation, but all nations.
Risk Group believes that risk management, security and peace walk together hand in hand. Though security is related to management of threats and peace to the management of conflict, risk management is related to management of security vulnerabilities as well as management of conflict, and it is not possible to conceive any one of the three without the existence of the other two. All three concepts feed into each other. Risk Group believes that the security we build for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for everyone across nations. Tradition becomes our security-so if we build a culture of managing risks effectively it will lead us to security and security will lead us to peace!
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