The Seeker is looking for low SWaP-C (size, weight, power, and cost) approaches for cyber protection of small resource-constrained satellites such as CubeSats.
Space is becoming more and more accessible for commercial ventures, academia, and emerging space-nations through the deployment of inexpensive small satellites and CubeSats. With this increased access comes increased vulnerabilities due to the use of low-cost commercial hardware and software, and exploitation of these vulnerabilities can result in loss of control, flight safety concerns, and loss of satellite among other outcomes.
CubeSats are miniaturized space satellites comprised of one or more 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cubic modules assembled together. These are typically low cost, lightweight, and assembled using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software. Utilizing CubeSats has lowered the barrier to space entry for commercial ventures, academia, and emerging space-nations and allows low-cost earth observation, communications, and space-networking, extending the Internet-of-Things (IoT) beyond the earth’s surface. More than 1,600 CubeSats have been launched so far with many more planned over the next several years. The enabling use of available low-cost COTS hardware and software often results in vulnerabilities in control, communication, data collection, sensors, and network routing. When exploited, these vulnerabilities can result in loss or takeover of control, flight safety concerns, loss of satellite, denial of service, corrupted data, spoofed communication, and unauthorized access to other space and ground network elements. Unfortunately, resource constraints of these low SWaP-C (size, weight, power, and cost) satellites make cyber protection measures difficult to implement. The Seeker is looking for approaches to provide affordable cyber security for small satellites and CubeSats.
This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.
To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver.