The European Space Agency kicked-off today, 18th March 2020, the MonICATO project – Monitoring Interfering and Cyber Attacks to Timing Operations of Satellite-Based Infrastructures, a feasibility study on “Cybersecurity and Space-based services” funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) Integrated Applications Promotions programme (ARTES element “IAP. MonICATO addresses the security of Power Grid networks, one of the most critical national infrastructure in accordance to the EC directives.

Power Grids depend more and more on satellite-derived time and use signals from GNSS to be more efficient. Therefore, MonICATO focuses on the protection against intentional interfering attacks carried out to fool time synchronization of Power Grid nodes by means of GNSS. MonICATO will study the use of new cryptographically protected messages from Galileo (i.e. OSNMA) and new solutions to establish secure channels among Power Grid nodes to secure time information from end-to-end.

The study will be carried out by a consortium composed by LINKS and two main local industries, ALTEC S.p.A. (Prime contractor, a Thales Alenia Space and Italian Space Agency public-private company) and TESEO S.p.A. LINKS is involved with the Cybersecurity and Space and Navigation Technologies Areas, with the contribution of the research group on Energy.  The combination of different partners’ skills, and the project itself, well describe the virtuous case in which LINKS act as the helix of innovation and as initiator of effective technology transfer.