New ESA Civil Security from Space Programme

 New ESA Civil Security from Space Programme

Climate change and political instability are bringing more and more crisis events, but space technology for civil security can help keep humanity safe and secure.

Flooding in Europe during summer 2021 resulted in hundreds of deaths and cost billions of Euros. Wildfires in Greece during the same year – as well as in France, Spain and Portugal during summer 2022 – led to thousands of people being evacuated from their homes and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest and arable land.

Climate change has increased flooding and fire risk across Europe, and alongside this, the evolving geopolitical environment can amplify the impact of a humanitarian crisis and the complexity of finding solutions at social, economic and political levels.

We are facing an increasing number of crisis events. During disasters like floods and fires, seconds matter: a fast and resilient response, facilitated by reliable and secure communications systems, is crucial. But those involved, including health professionals, security, and emergency workers, often operate in areas where ground-based infrastructures are not accessible or have been damaged by the crisis. Meanwhile, in our ever more digital world, cyberattacks and infrastructure failures are an increasing threat.

Space technology can provide vital information and support during these events. From anticipating crises to assessing situations as they evolve and enabling reliable means of communication at all stages, ESA technology can allow users to act quickly to resolve crises and minimise their impact.

A proposed solution using space technology

New developments in the space sector can help avoid, mitigate or effectively respond to crises through combining satellite and non-satellite data and services.

This is the driving force behind ESA’s new Civil Security from Space (CSS) programme, which is being proposed at the upcoming Council Meeting at Ministerial Level (CM22).

“Civil Security from Space will bring together capacities such as telecommunications, Earth observation, ground and space sensor networks and cloud data sources to ensure rapid dissemination of information through a new platform targeted to specific crises and users,” explains Christopher Topping, leader of the programme, which will be proposed to ESA Member States for their subscription at CM22 later this month.

ESA CSS industry day

In the lead up to CM22, on 8 November ESA is holding a specific industry day for CSS at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The aim is to highlight the risk to Europe from crisis events and explore how reliable space solutions can be used to benefit citizens, ESA Member States and industry.

The one-day workshop will bring together prospective users, industry stakeholders, and decision-makers from Member States with an interest in enabling commercial solutions aligned with the objectives of the Civil Security from Space programme.

The event is open by invitation. If you are interested in attending, please send an email to with a brief explanation of interest.

Read the original article on the ESA website here

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Read our series about space for disaster management here

Remco Timmermans

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