9 March 2023


Media Updates, News, Security, Space

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  • RHEA Group is assisting the Italian aerospace engineering company Argotec in setting the security strategy for the flight operations segment for its Earth observation (EO) satellite constellation for the IRIDE programme.
  • The security strategy includes end-to-end holistic protection of both the space and ground segments against cyberattacks.

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RHEA System S.p.A., part of RHEA Group, is supporting Italian aerospace engineering company Argotec in the design and implementation of the security strategy of its EO satellite constellation developed in the frame of the Italian IRIDE programme. The security strategy includes end-to-end holistic protection of both the space and ground segments against cyberattacks.

IRIDE is an ambitious Italian low Earth orbit (LEO) EO programme, funded through the Next Generation EU-RRF and National Complementary Fund, which will be implemented in Italy under the supervision of the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Piano Nazionale Ripresa e Resilienza). The IRIDE programme will include all components – upstream (implemented as a constellation of constellations), downstream and services – to provide geospatial data at national and European levels to both public administration and private customers. The constellation will be completed by 2026.

RHEA’s support services to Argotec’s constellation for IRIDE include the preparation and maintenance of the Security Management Plan (SMP). The SMP will contain the overall security strategy for the IRIDE programme, including the scope of the security activities and the actions to be performed. It will encompass all security principles, information security, organization, controls and best practice, aiming to ensure that Argotec’s constellation for IRIDE and its systems are adequately protected throughout its entire lifecycle.

Valerio Di Tana, Program Manager at Argotec, said: “RHEA’s expertise in cybersecurity for space, especially in terms of its support to ESA’s Security Cyber Centre of Excellence and Cyber-Security Operations Centre, will be of high value in shaping our cybersecurity strategy for IRIDE and ensuring the constellation is well protected against cyberattacks throughout its entire lifecycle.”

Roberto Mazzolin, Chief Defence, Security and Technology Strategist at RHEA Group, added: “Space systems are becoming complex data networks integrating satellite and ground communications and data-storage infrastructure. And these complex IT systems are potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks. We are delighted to be working with Argotec on the IRIDE programme and to provide our cybersecurity of space assets expertise, in particular in terms of Security Risk Assessment for the IRIDE Upstream and Flight Operations Segment.”

IRIDE satellites in space. Image copyright Argotec