Claude-France Arnould, EDA Chief Executive, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, met on 09 July 2013 at ESA’s ESTEC (European Space Research and Technology Centre) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, to discuss their on-going cooperation on space and security.
While taking stock of such cooperative items as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Ms. Arnould and Mr. Dordain have agreed to pursue their cooperation on such key policy topics relating to space and security as governmental satellite communications, navigation, or Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).
Claude-France Arnould and her delegation visited ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility (CDF), where a comprehensive overview of ESA’s asset was given with specific focus on the now concluded ESA-EDA cooperation on ISR Capability Package Assessment (ICPA). Visiting ESA’s Test Center allowed EDA to learn more about BepiColombo, an ambitious European scientific mission to Mercury, and to exchange views with Didier Faivre, Director for Navigation, on Galileo.
Space is a key area of action within EDA’s mandate to develop, for its Member States, key defence capabilities necessary both for decision-making and operations. Following the signing of the 2008 ESA-EDA Administrative Arrangement, cooperation has significantly increased between the two European organizations, spurring increased momentum and civ-mil synergies in this intrinsically dual use area.
Space is embedded in several EDA initiatives. “EDA’s Member States are expressing support for exploring future capability packages in governmental satcoms, which I believe would greatly benefit from a civil-military approach with ESA and Member States alike, building on the strong experience of ESA. ESA and EDA will be looking at the best way to synchronize to make sure we reap the most benefits from civ-mil synergies for our respective activities and mandates, for example the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme”, said Ms. Arnould. “A second workstrand is Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. In this regard, the successful DeSIRE demonstration of satellites enabling the insertion of RPAS in Europe, an ESA-EDA cooperation demonstrating the ability to use satellite communications to pilot a UAV in general air traffic, which took place on 24 April, is a very solid project”, she added. EDA is now looking into expanding activities in this regard with DeSIRE II, linked to the larger issue of traffic insertion and single European sky, which is being undertaken in collaboration with ESA’s Integrated Applications Programme. A novel cooperative avenue will be Cyber defence. “Cyber security needs to incorporate the space segment in capabilities development”, said Ms. Arnould.
EDA is committed to pursuing the space policy drive in the context of the European Council of December 2013, where Heads of States and Governments will address defence. The April 2013 Steering Board of EDA already paved the way towards this end, namely in the area of governmental satellite communications, cyberdefence and RPAS.