An innovative consortium of 15 European space leaders and pioneers led by Euroconsult and ICEYE, is working together to tackle the European Commission’s security and sovereignty challenges in Earth Observation.
Paris, Washington D.C., Montreal, Yokohama, Sydney, October 11, 2023. A recent request by the European Commission for feasibility study proposals exploring the best way to implement a future satellite-enabled Earth-Observation service for government-authorized users at EU and EU Member States has resulted in the creation of a groundbreaking Earth Observation (EO) consortium. The collaboration, named AEGIS² (Advanced European Governmental Innovative ISR Secured Service), is made up of 15 members representing eight European countries, under the leadership of Euroconsult and ICEYE, aiming to investigate innovative, secured, and sustainable solutions for the future European Union’s Earth-Observation governmental service.
The global geopolitical environment is constantly evolving, and the need for strong security has never been more important as highlighted in the EU space strategy for security and defence. To bridge the gap between current capacity and future requirements, the European Commission is looking towards a new Earth Observation service for EU governments. This service aims to provide reliable and continuous situational awareness information to authorized EU Member States and allied users.
AEGIS² is committed to utilizing the latest advancements in space technologies and operational concepts to meet the aims and objectives of the European Commission’s vision. The consortium’s collaborative approach brings together a unique combination of:
- Security expertise, with the involvement of key experts in the management of classified information and the delivery of secured and operational infrastructures and services, to NATO, European Agencies (SatCen, Frontex, EMSA, etc.), and Member States for defence and security purposes.
- Longstanding experience in space programme implementation, with top-leading private players operating the two largest constellations in Europe, cumulating more than 30 satellites in orbit. They also deliver SAR and ELINT services daily to many private and public stakeholders, while one of the partners has been providing SatCen direct access to cutting-edge optical imagery for more than two decades.
- Novelty capability with the participation of the most innovative European companies developing key and critical technologies (high-resolute hyperspectral systems, inter-satellite links, quantum encryption, on-board computing, cloud computing, bigdata analysis, etc.) to anticipate the evolution of European Earth Observation Governmental needs in the two next decades.
Commenting on the consortium, Euroconsult Chief Executive Officer Pacôme Révillon stated, “Euroconsult and our partners are fully focused on working towards an effective proposal for achieving the requirements of the Commission. The consortium that we have assembled together with our valued partners at ICEYE stands out mainly due to a finely tuned balance between experienced Earth Observation companies operating at the cutting edge of innovation and defence firms with unrivalled knowledge around security and resilience. This balance will be key to the successful delivery of the study and ensuring a strong foundation is created for the establishment of an efficient new service for EU member states.”
The consortium firmly believes that its blend of expertise and ability to tap into innovative resources will enable it to address the challenges of this study effectively. With a user-focused approach, an extensive network, and a focus on affordability, AEGIS² aims to conduct a fully independent feasibility study to deliver state-of-the-art solutions for the current and future EU EO Governmental service.
“ICEYE is honoured to be leading this initiative jointly with Euroconsult to strengthen the European Earth Observation capabilities. National security requires timely and reliable data to inform accurate decision-making. We are excited to be working alongside some of the leading companies in Europe to explore new and innovative solutions to provide persistent situational awareness,” says Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder of ICEYE.
The consortium partners have been specially selected to contribute their complementary experience and capabilities. These collaborators are committed to fulfilling the specific requirements necessary for the study, ensuring its success. The consortium includes leading and cutting edge Midcaps, SMEs, research centre and New Space companies in their respective fields of activity.
The study is set to be completed in 12 months, from the first project management stage to the resulting recommendations to the European Commission. With the completion of this study, the consortium strives to provide robust and independent assessments of programmatic implementation options, thus supporting the future of European Earth observation governmental service.
The full list of AEGIS² collaborators represents a large, pan-European mix of organizations; AEROSPACELAB (BE), CLOUDFERRO (PL), COLLECTE LOCALISATION SATELLITE (FR), D-ORBIT (IT), EUROPEAN SPACE IMAGING (DE), IABG (DE), ISTITUTO AFFARI INTERNAZIONALI (IT), INDRA (ES), SATCONSULT (FR), SITAEL (IT), SOPHIA ENGINEERING (FR), UNSEENLABS (FR), 3IPK (SK).