London, 18 October 2023 – The Space Development Agency announced on the 17th of October that they awarded SpiderOak, US-based software company focused on satellite cybersecurity, an Other Transactional Authority agreement. OrbitSecure is purpose-built for the limited size, weight, power, and connectivity constraints of orbital operations and has been deployed to satellites.
Under the agreement SpiderOak will research integration of the company’s OrbitSecure software suite into the agency’s contribution to the Space Force’s Rapid Resilient Command and Control effort. Through this the Space Development Agency aims to enable expanded government use of commercial, civil and allied ground infrastructure.
SpiderOak’s software secures any type of information transiting in or through space assets at the data level rather than the network level, allowing organizations like the Space Development Agency to securely employ commercial network and ground station options for command and control. The hybrid-space architecture aims to reduce data latency and achieve greater resiliency against potential cyber and physical threats to satellites.
“The cyber threat to satellites is well documented and the threat of hypersonic missiles is imminent. Flight-proven solutions must be deployed rapidly to improve resilience through cyber-secured commercial ground systems,” said Dave Pearah, CEO of SpiderOak. He added: “Through our innovative use of variable-trust mechanisms, we secure the efficient transmission of commands and other data, improving the responsiveness of space missions. These features are needed today when pacing threats like China are already inflicting damage to government networks.”
SpiderOak demonstrated OrbitSecure on a Ball Aerospace prototype payload in June 2023, and on the International Space Station using Amazon Web Services’ Snowcone edge computing device provided by Axiom Space in July 2023.