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SmallSat Cybersecurity and Resiliency

Southwest Virginia Node

Principal Investigator: 
Jonathan Black, director, Aerospace and Ocean Systems Laboratory, Hume Center, Virginia Tech

Co-Principal Investigators: 
Chris Goyne, director, Aerospace Research Laboratory, University of Virginia; Daniel Doyle, research assistant professor, Aerospace and Ocean Systems Lab; Scott Kordella, senior advisor, space systems, MITRE Corp

Project Description: 
The project leverages an existing University Innovation Exchange Commonwealth-wide partnership with MITRE Corp. to address the challenging and increasingly important issue of smallsat cybersecurity. Small satellites are proliferating at an exponential rate, and in the last few years space assets have been designated critical infrastructure by the National Security Space Policy and NIST. NSA-certified Type 1 encryption and other Federal grade cybersecurity measures are impractical for small satellites and experimental manufacturers, and therefore there is a clear need for the proposed working group to develop best practices for smallsat cybersecurity, execute cyber risk assessments, and analyze resiliency on a lab-based evolvable flatsat. This project is therefore Commonwealth-wide from inception, will include the ability for remote access to the flatsat lab capability and integration with CCI testbed(s), and will work with federal and state agencies and companies across the Commonwealth to transition to self-sustainment.