3 February 2022


Media Updates, News, Security, Space

No comments
  • RHEA Group is a core member of the Leonardo team that has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency for Phase 2 of the creation of a Cyber Safety and Security Operations Centre (C-SOC) at Redu, Belgium.
  • The C-SOC is part of ESA’s security strategy defined in ESA Agenda 2025 to increase the cyber resilience of all its activities and securely support its Member States and partners.


RHEA Group is a core member of the Leonardo team awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to create a Cyber Safety and Security Operations Centre (C-SOC), which will provide a cyber resilience capability as outlined in ESA’s security strategy. Together with our international consortium members, RHEA will provide a world-leading combination of space and cybersecurity engineering expertise and experience across the space and cybersecurity domains to the C-SOC project. RHEA will be the lead Belgian partner in the creation of the C-SOC at Redu, Belgium, and the only UK partner supporting C-SOC activities centred around ESA’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) facility in Harwell, UK.

Space data and technology are now essential for activities as varied as navigation, communications, weather forecasting and banking. In parallel with our increasing reliance on space-based solutions, cyberattacks are growing at an alarming rate. Every element of a space mission is a target, including satellites, ground stations, the signals in space, data processing and storage. This means that security processes need to start from the inception of every mission and cover every aspect of the space infrastructure.

The C-SOC, together with other ESA security services, is being created to ensure the cybersecurity and resilience of space and corporate mission operational functions through a data-centric, ‘security first’ approach. The C-SOC will be located at ESA’s European Space Security and Education Centre (ESEC) in Redu, Belgium, and will work together with the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Germany and the European Centre of Earth Observation (ESRIN) in Italy to play a fundamental role in the implementation of ESA’s new cybersecurity strategy and vision. The C-SOC and the Security Cyber Centre of Excellence (SCCoE) will also work in synergy with the ESOC Network Operations Centre (NOC) and ESA’s Computer and Communications Emergency Response Team (ESACERT) at ESRIN in order to create ESA’s cybersecurity backbone, providing a unique capability in Europe.

André Sincennes, CEO of RHEA Group, said, “RHEA is proud and privilege to work with ESA having nurtured and developed a strategic collaboration assisting ESA in its direction to position ESEC, Belgium as Europe leading cybersecurity for space centre of expertise. RHEA has an unrivalled technical knowledge of ESA’s space security requirements. Being the prime contractor of C-SOC Phase 1 and the related SCCoE project, RHEA therefore adds invaluable technical experience and knowledge to the C-SOC project.

“Along with the consortium members, we offer a unique team that has expertise in delivery of synthetic environments, threat information sharing platforms, training, and test and validation. Our consolidated expertise will ensure that the C-SOC will be a highly secure and controlled operational environment to enable users to develop space systems that are safe and protected, to guarantee the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.”

Massimo Mercati, Head of ESA’s Security Office, commented, “ESA considers security, and in particular cybersecurity, as an important focus pillar, as demonstrated by its inclusion in the strategic plan ESA Agenda 2025. The C-SOC will offer a holistic and coordinated approach to secure space systems and provide a unique facility to monitor and detect threats and vulnerabilities for operational space systems. ESA looks forward to working with the C-SOC consortium to deliver this unique facility.”

Press contact: Isabelle Roels

Main image: © ESA/J. Mai