Satellite supply chains coming under increasing scrutiny

WASHINGTON — Adjustments within the geopolitical panorama following Russia’s struggle in Ukraine are pushing house corporations to tighten worldwide provide chains amid a renewed concentrate on safety. 

“We’re having to scrutinize our provide chain much more,” Tina Ghataore, chief business officer at Germany-based optical communications terminal maker Mynaric, stated March 22 on a panel for the Satellite tv for pc 2022 convention right here. 

“We have already got restrictions on the place the elements and components can come from, particularly electronics,” she stated, however “that has simply expanded, and that checklist is simply going to develop.”

Mynaric, which is growing terminals for the U.S. Protection Superior Analysis Initiatives Company (DARPA), already steers away from Chinese language elements however is now scouring its community of suppliers for Russian ties.

Ghataore additionally stated the corporate is not only more and more scrutinizing {hardware} to guard in opposition to new threats but additionally on the software program degree, the place the corporate is adopting new requirements and redoubling efforts to be “very cautious about what goes into the make-up of our merchandise.” 

Whereas strengthening provide chains are vital, Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg highlighted a higher have to fortify cybersecurity networks amid more and more subtle threats.

Dankberg stated he expects extra makes an attempt to compromise satellite tv for pc networks following a February cyberattack on Viasat’s KA-SAT community, which distributes providers by means of a 3rd celebration as work continues to combine its acquisition from Eutelsat.

“There will likely be worse cyber assaults than that if we’re probably not vigilant,” Dankberg warned.

Talking to table4 on the convention’s sidelines, Dankberg added that Viasat makes use of quite a lot of synthetic intelligence and different instruments to protect in opposition to persistent assaults on the satellite tv for pc operator’s community.

“The probability that we’d have detected that assault had these instruments been used on that community may be very, very excessive,” he stated.

Geopolitical impression

“It actually feels to me as if the Chilly Conflict” has restarted, OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson stated throughout a panel dialogue. The LEO broadband operator paused its constellation deployment after suspending its use of Russian Soyuz rockets. On March 21, OneWeb stated it has a cope with SpaceX to renew launches this 12 months.

Masterson referred to as for extra regulation to handle a “actuality whereby the geopolitical [environment] has modified.”

Nevertheless, whereas the battle in Ukraine has underscored how vital and strategic house is, Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg doesn’t count on heightened scrutiny to materially have an effect on how the business already operates.

“There have at all times been boundaries to the power to work with any firm that you just need to work with,” Goldberg stated, together with “large restrictions round know-how sharing” underneath U.S. Worldwide Visitors in Arms Laws.

“House cries out for collaboration, provided that it’s a commons up there but additionally provided that it’s costly and also you want nations working collectively and governments working collectively to totally leverage house,” he stated, “however we’re not all in a position to work with one another simply given the realities of geopolitics.

“And I believe Ukraine reinforces that, however I’m undecided that it adjustments it that a lot.”

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