Critical international infrastructure: a case for secure, sustainable non-terrestrial networking

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It is anticipated that by 2030, low-latency (low Earth orbit satellite-based) Internet will be carrying many terabits per second, eclipsing traditional geostationary communications. Rather than replacing the well-connected, fibre-to-the-home infrastructure available in urban environments, satellite communication will target mobile, rural, and rapid start-up communication.
To facilitate the global Internet, the growth of “disposable” space infrastructure and the vast volume of space debris is somewhat at odds with the terrestrial UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In recent years, Space has been recognised as a “critical national infrastructure” sector, with the designation of satellite constellations as critical space infrastructure.
Compared with the maturity of government and military space standards, the process of ensuring the security of commercial satellite operations is in its infancy.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques are fundamental to the successful deployment of satellite mega-constellations, commercial satellite operations and space-air-ground integrated networks. The security of their implementation is paramount.
The UN High-Level Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence should include this critical international infrastructure in its recommendations for the international governance of AI.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Specialist publicationGCSP Strategic Security Analysis
PublisherGeneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2024


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