The event – the largest of its kind in the UK – promoted this new horizon for space commercialisation off the back of a national intention to reach 10% of input into the global space market by 2030.
 
Alongside our partners at In-Space Missions, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence was present at the event in September. There, we discussed how we will not only be joining, but helping to drive, this ambition via an exciting mission.
Space-Comm Expo 2022
BAE Systems Digital Intelligence
Space-Comm Expo 2022
Liz Seward, Head of Strategy - Space explains more about Azalea

Introducing Azalea: a time-critical solution

BAE Systems’ new multi-sensor satellite cluster named Azalea was revealed at the expo, as a state-of-the-art capability designed to collect and process optical, radar and radio frequency (RF) data. The announcement follows the business’s acquisition of In-Space Missions 12 months ago, and it will serve as an analytical system in orbit, using onboard machine learning to deliver intelligence on the ground.
 
The ability to deliver intelligence, as well as high-quality imagery, from space will aid forces on land, sea and air, while a partnership with Finnish company, ICEYE will provide advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology as part of the overall proposition. This latter strand caters for high-resolution imagery of the planet’s surface at any time of day and through any weather condition, to quickly detect anomalies and dangers.
 
The idea behind this solution is to inform, as much as it is to identify. Pivotal to much of the expanding satellite compliment, is the level of secure and actionable data that is generated from them. In the military context Azalea will therefore be able to support decision makers by generating a quick and accurate picture of what’s happening on the ground, and in the civil context it will be able to provide crucial insights into, for example, the spread of floods and forest fires.
 

The next frontier

As well as unveiling Azalea, Neil Sherwin-Peddie, Head of Space Security at BAE Systems, also participated in a panel discussion around ‘The urgent need to cyber-secure global space assets’ at Space-Comm. Here, the need for an advanced and collaborative solution such as Azalea was brought to the fore.
 
Sherwin-Peddie emphasised the need for whole system thinking. Working across government and industry to inform policy and regulation is also pivotal as countries continue to construct new, suitable frameworks, and standards for accreditations. As part of this responsible and ethical team effort, commercial networks must work with zero trust assumptions, with security engrained from the ground up, or even from home when it comes to a secure mind-set among employees.
 
Ultimately, opportunities such as Azalea are the perfect balance of responsible development and exciting opportunity.
 
For BAE Systems, they represent the culmination of knowledge and experience that has been building within the organisation over many years. A natural next step in the company’s space story.

Jessica Regan

Project Programme Portfolio Manager, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence
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