Using space to make Europe a safer place
The ASTRO+ project is part of the European Commission’s Preparatory Action for Security Research (PASR) initiative which brings together 22 partners drawn from public authorities, industry, universities, institutions and think-tanks from nine European countries. Co-ordinated by Airbus Defence and Space, ASTRO+ is designed to demonstrate how space technologies and capabilities can enhance the security of Europe's citizens.
A security situation simulated in Poland in February 2006 demonstrated how ASTRO+ can support the requirements of operations on the ground by facilitating access to data from satellites, using high-performance equipment, and ensuring co-ordination between players to improve the overall efficiency of the crisis management system.
Airbus Defence and Space has extensive expertise in technologies which are vital to ensure that the security systems planned at a European level are fully effective. The company has developed complete, end-to-end solutions for satellite-based telecommunications, observation and navigation to meet the needs of in-theatre operations. These integrated solutions provide not only the system aspect (space and ground segments) but also the services element, covering areas such as mapping and communications.
ASTRO+ is a first step to conclusively demonstrating the crucial contribution of the space segment in the field of security. It should pave the way towards a further research and technology programme, aiming to establish synergies with other R&T, commercial and defence applications, and to create networking between space industry and research, to build up multi-disciplinary applications.