SC 33 - Connor

NATO to Strengthen Partnership With Space Industry, Launches APSS

Credit: NATO

Ibadan, 21 February 2024. – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has announced strengthening its partnership with the commercial space industry. NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană made the announcement during NATO’s first Space Reverse Industry Day yesterday, 20 February 2024, as he highlighted the importance of cooperation with the commercial space industry to ensure Alliance security.

The Space Reverse Industry Day gave space companies the opportunity to share their unique perspectives and help shape NATO’s commercial space agenda. Discussions included addressing commercial challenges with public sector organizations; exploring initiatives for new multinational space investments; considering space innovation activities through DIANA; and streamlining and enhancing space standardization and interoperability.

Last week, 16 Allies, together with invitees Finland and Sweden, launched a new initiative, the “Alliance Persistent Surveillance from Space” (APSS), aiming to transform the way NATO gathers and uses data from space, significantly improve NATO’s intelligence and surveillance, and provide essential support to NATO’s military missions and operations. The initiative will consist of the establishment of a virtual constellation – ‘Aquila’ – of both national and commercial space assets, such as satellites, leveraging the latest advances in commercial space technology. As such, it will help streamline data collection, sharing and analysis among NATO Allies and with the NATO command structure while generating cost savings.

Luxembourg’s early contribution of 16.5 million euros laid the groundwork for this transformative initiative and will allow participating countries to contribute to Aquila through their own assets, data and/or funds. Integrating and exploiting data from space effectively has been a growing challenge over time. As a result, leveraging the latest technologies from the industry will enable APSS to advance NATO’s innovation agenda and offer a new platform to engage with the growing space industry.

Check Also

COSPAR Kicks off 2024’s Scientific Assembly in Busan

COSPAR has kicked off the COSPAR 2024 Scientific Assembly in Busan, celebrating the theme "Team Spirit in Space Research." The assembly counted around 2800 participants from over 60 countries with attendees engaging with scientists, presenting over 3000 talks and posters, and participating in 150 scientific events. The Assembly brought space leaders from KASA, NASA, CNSA, ISRO, JAXA, ASI, and the UAE together, with the roundtable of Space Agency leaders featuring the next decade of space science programs from each agency. Also, space sustainability emerged as a major recurring theme.