Title - securing information advantage and photo of author Shaun Stretton

In a recent keynote address at the IET MilSatCom Conference, the MoD reiterated the importance of information-centric technologies in achieving information advantage and how this can only be accomplished through continuous, adaptive, decisive, and resilient employment of information and information systems. 

As a result, we need to build scalable, resilient, and innovative information infrastructures fit for the twenty first century. Space of course is very much part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), with space-based services forming an integral part of the nation’s everyday life.  The competition and congestion in Earth orbit, increasing threats from debris and the space environment, the behaviours of other space actors and emerging new capabilities, all highlight the need for substantially enhanced space domain awareness and protection of our invaluable space assets.

We all recognise that space is rapidly evolving, with inward investment from commercial ventures and governments driving transformational capability.  Describing how best to exploit the benefits of having a mixed fleet of commercial and different military space-based capabilities and how these can be integrated via seamless command and control, is challenging.  CGI and Team Athena however, are at the forefront of integrating these transformative developments, in a safe and secure manner, ensuring the UK continues to have access to proven and emerging technologies that can meet the pace of technological change. 

With over 40-years’ experience in the space domain, CGI continues to bring innovation to our clients using proven and emerging technologies, agile delivery processes and our deep expertise across the breadth of space, defence and intelligence, all underpinned by our end-to-end cyber capability. As well as supporting the missions of hundreds of satellites, including critical ground segment functionality on modern mega-constellations, CGI has been working with the MOD over the past 20 years to deliver the UK’s sovereign and assured Skynet 5 Management Segment, as part of the overall Skynet 5 programme.  

The Management Segment is a critical function of the Skynet 5 System that allows users to order, plan, deliver, monitor, and account for satellite communications services from the Skynet anchor stations to remote platforms around the world. The UK-based CGI team has introduced capabilities to address the complexities of modern space system command and control requirements, as well as dynamic, integrated, network, capacity and resource management solutions – across multiple and different military platforms – whilst effectively managing any potential future obsolescence (through ’evergreen‘ designs), across various governmental and commercial space systems globally. Our national capability, heritage, and continued innovation uniquely places CGI, as part of team Athena, to enable the UK Armed Forces to expand its ability to use space assets in order to deliver information advantage.

It is vital that industry continue to bring together existing and emerging technologies to provide our UK Armed Forces with information advantage in these increasingly contested and congested environments.  CGI and Athena bring together a long and successful heritage of understanding the detail of milsatcoms with the wider understanding of how proven and emerging technological integration can support the protection of the UK’s interests and better connect those that protect us.