Space: Global Sentinel 2022 completed at the Vandenberg space base (USA)

(To Greater Defense)

It took place from 25 July to 3 August 2022 at the Space Force Base of Vandenberg (California, USA), the US-led multinational exercise called "Global Sentinel 2022", which was attended, for the fifth consecutive year, by Air Force personnel from the Air Force Staff - General Office for Space, from the Space Situational Awareness Center (C-SSA) of Aerospace Operations Command (COA) of Poggio Renatico (Ferrara) and from Experimental Flight Department - Aerospace Engineering Group (GIAS) of Pratica di Mare (Rome); moreover, for the first time, the Space Operations Command (COS) of Defense which, with its own personnel in the role of observers, has set itself the goal of enhancing and integrating all the operational components of the new defense space domain and familiarizing themselves with standard C3 procedures in the international context.

La Global Sentinel represents the most important and extensive exercise of international cooperation in the field Space Situational Awareness (SSA), i.e. the surveillance and awareness of what happens in space, and is the only event of its kind that includes multinational partners from 25 nations, geographically distributed on all continents, for a total of over 150 participants.

The common objectives of such involvement are to strengthen the ability to lead and support coordinated action in space, (in support of the Space Domain Awareness - SDA), increase interoperability in multinational space operations, promote security and the development of homogeneous capabilities and skills in all the nations involved.

For the purpose of the exercise, the members of each participating nation were grouped into 8 so-called Regional Space Operation Center (RSpOC), based on geographical proximity and common interests. Italy, as a "legacy partner" has carried out the functions of "leader" of the MED SpOC (Mediterranean Space Operation Center) which also included Greece and Israel.

Under the supervision of a support cell and a control cell, each RSpOC conducted one of the eight proposed exercise scenarios in turn, taking care of the planning and execution of each mission, with the aim of strengthening the communication and collaboration aspects. not only of its own RspOC but with all the various partners present.

The proposed scenarios concerned 8 main events, such as breakup, together, DA-ASAT, re entry, deployment, launch, maneuver, proximity operations, appointment, international definitions that describe the full range of possible operational situations regarding satellites and the interaction with or between them, cooperative or not. Each event, inserted in a realistic setting, allowed both training on commercial software already available in the defense space sector, and the comparison and validation of the national software developed by the AM in collaboration with the national industry and the world. academic.

The impression given by the personnel involved in the exercise is decidedly positive, in terms of skills and collaborations in an area, such as that of space, which represents a very interesting challenge for the Air Force and for the Defense.

In this context, in fact, the Space Situational Awareness center of the Aerospace Operations Command, albeit recently established, represents a reality capable of monitoring, monitoring and characterizing space objects and their operating environment in order to support the COS - entity dependent on the Interoperable Summit Operations Command (COVI) and responsible for the planning and conduct of space operations in the management of safe, stable and sustainable space activities.

The SSA center provides Space Situational Awareness integrating the services of Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) with capacity of Space Weather need Space Intelligence.

In addition, the SSA center is responsible for the services of Europe Re-entry (RE - monitoring of the reentry into the atmosphere and possible fall on the earth of the satellites / debris) e Fragmentation (FG - the control over the fragmentation of space objects, the debris of which represent a danger to other satellites) and is theoperational center for the service of Collision Avoidance (CA - the prevention of collisions between satellites and / or orbiting debris) for the European assets (Galileo and Copernicus) and competes with national satellite operators in the monitoring of assets of national interest.

The SSA center has a technical and functional connection with the Space Operations Command (COS), the latter, through the coordination and control activities with the other space centers of the Italian Defense or the Joint Satellite Remote Sensing Center (CITS) of Pratica di Mare and the Joint Management and Control Center (CIGC), synergizes and links all the activities of the Space Domain.