Space Systems Security: A Definition and Knowledge Domain for the Contemporary Context


A second space race has taken off and it is driving the rapid deployment of modernised satellites and other space systems that each introduce new security risks to an aged and already vulnerable ecosystem. The engineering, science, and technology aspects of space security are currently understudied and disjointed, leading to fragmented research and inconsistent terminology. This paper details the results of a global survey of space security experts to define Space Systems Security and the scope of its interdisciplinary knowledge domain. It also provides a review of current space security literature and examines the contemporary space systems context from a security perspective.


Photo of Jordan Plotnek

University of South Australia
Adelaide, Australia

Jordan Plotnek received a Bachelor of Engineering with first class Honours in telecommunication and networking from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, in 2013. He has since held various technical, research, and management positions for both public and private organisations around the world, including leading the first Australian Air Force cyber deployment to the Middle East. Jordan is currently a Ph.D. candidate in space systems resilience at the University of South Australia, funded by SmartSat CRC, and is the co-founder and lead partner for critical infrastructure at Anchoram Consulting. His research interests are centred around cyber-physical conflict, emerging threats, and the resilience of modern critical infrastructures.

Photo of Professor Jill Slay

University of South Australia
Adelaide, Australia

Professor Jill Slay is the University of South Australia SmartSat  CRC Professorial Chair in Cybersecurity. Her work focuses on the context of developing the national technical agenda in satellite cybersecurity and resilience with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group, Defence and Defence Industry.   She is ranked as being in the top 2% of scientists in the world in ICT Networking and Telecommunications sub field (in 2019) as an early adopter of AI and Machine Learning in Cyber Security and Real Time Forensics. She applies these techniques to satellite security.

She is a Director of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium for 2021-2023.   Previous appointments have included Optus Chair in Cybersecurity at La Trobe University and Founding Director of the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at the Australian Defence Force Academy.   She has established an international research reputation in cyber security (particularly Digital Forensics, Cyber Intelligence and Cyberwarfare) and has worked in collaboration with the Australian Federal and State governments and with many industry partners.  She has published more than 180 outputs in information assurance, critical infrastructure protection, security and forensic computing and completed the supervision of 21 PhDs with 6 others ongoing,  and many master’s and Honour’s theses.  She was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the information technology industry through contributions in the areas of forensic computer science, security, protection of infrastructure and cyber-terrorism

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