Cyber for Space Applications



Colorado Springs, CO

How might we apply cyber technologies to secure the next generation of space operations and increase resiliency?

Problem Statement

As hardware and software become increasingly integrated in the form of cyber-physical systems, a new and unique set of cybersecurity threats present themselves. Current research acknowledges that the challenge of keeping cyber-physical systems secure is fundamentally different from the conventional IT security problems of yesteryear (The Cyber Security Body of Knowledge, Cyber Physical Systems Knowledge Area, 2019). The introduction of real-time constraints, automated and autonomous operations, novel sensors and robotics, networking of devices in the IoT, and complex embedded software all enable highly innovative products with increasingly broad attack surfaces. While the notion of “hacking a car” might have sounded absurd twenty years ago, it is now a demonstrated possibility.

With both the public and private sectors rapidly innovating in space, next-gen satellites now resemble cyber-physical systems. Operating a cyber-physical system in space, however, brings with it an additional set of unique challenges. Outdated radiation-hardened processors with esoteric instruction set architectures, a lack of capability for rapid security updates and DevOps, and long development timelines outpaced by rapidly-evolving threats are unfortunately today’s status quo in the domain of space cyber-physical systems.

While terrestrial cyber security technology development creates a foundation to extend existing solutions to celestial applications, space systems come with unique characteristics that may require adaptations from existing strategies or radically new approaches to the problem. Therefore, the US Space Force is seeking bold and disruptive approaches to security for space cyber-physical systems and operations.

Topics of Interest

  • How could Zero Trust be used in space?
  • How could penetration testing be done on real satellites?
  • How could pen-testing be done on models of satellites?
  • How could modeling and simulation of satellites and space systems be used to improve their security?
  • How could AI and ML be applied to cyber anomaly detection, signal processing, and threat response?
  • How could SDN and network automation be used to better secure and improve space communications?
  • Are there new protocols or coding techniques that would improve the security?
  • How can we dissuade/prevent adversaries from data exfiltration?
  • How can we ensure data integrity?
  • Other disruptive technologies related to or benefiting space cyber resiliency.


September 1, 2020Kickoff
September 1, 2020Col Eric Felt
September 30, 2020Dr. Michele Gaudreault
November 19, 2020#CACSA Demo Day
September 1, 2020Kickoff

The Cyber for Space Applications cohort kicked off with eight amazing cyber companies – completely virtual!

September 1, 2020Col Eric Felt

Col Eric Felt, Director AFRL/RV, spoke with the cohort about why small businesses are so important to AFRL.

September 30, 2020Dr. Michele Gaudreault

Dr. Michele Gaudreault, USSF/DST Deputy Chief Scientist, met with the cohort to help make valuable connections.

November 19, 2020#CACSA Demo Day

The final event where our eight Cyber companies pitch their technology to a virtual room full of customers, decision makers, and stake holders.

Cohort Blog

  • Eight Companies Join Catalyst Accelerator’s Cyber for Space Applications Cohort

    The Program Hosts Its Sixth Accelerator COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo – August 26, 2020 – Eight small businesses will connect from across the country for the Catalyst Accelerator’s cohort focused on Cyber for Space Applications. The Catalyst Accelerator, powered by the Air Force Research Lab Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), was developed to promote technology advancement for […]

Cohort Companies

Anova Intelligence company logo

ANOVA Intelligence

ANOVA Intelligence is a mission-critical cyber anomaly detection and data analysis software company. Our AI/ML-powered software arms critical infrastructure IT & OT systems with the defensive weapon system, battleplan and intel they require to neutralize advanced persistent threats (APTs).

Cybercentric company logo


CyberCentric is a data classification platform. Using advanced artificial intelligence techniques, we enable organizations to know precisely who has access to the organization’s most sensitive data and how that data is being stored in real time.

Astrapi company logo

Astrapi’s Spiral Modulation opens the door to spectral efficiency improvements of 2X or greater, driving wins in data throughput, SWaP, interference mitigation, anti-jamming, and LPD. We do this by for the first time fully exploiting the capabilities of a continuously non-stationary spectrum, bypassing an implicit limitation in classical channel capacity theory. A derivative technology, Symbol Waveform Hopping, provides an advanced approach to LPI at the physical layer and without the latency of encryption. Astrapi will license its technology to established OEMs providing the modems, radios and sensors that support network communications in defense and commercial markets.

Corlina company logo

Corlina makes IoT Systems secure by providing immutable IoT signatures through its Security Trust platform.

Corlina’s patented Security Trust software provides a continuous measure of confidence in an IoT system with a verifiable and immutable record of the integrity of observations made by applications deployed on the trusted IoT System. Corlina’s SaaS (or “on-premise”) solution offers convenient, dynamic and adaptive Trust management for IoT systems, from the device to the application data, for devices, links, and constellations of devices, in support of air and space operations centers, bases, and combat commands.

Determines integrity assurance of the overall IoT system, including “last mile” device security attribution so that there is a continued effort to enhance and solidify confidence in end to end IoT system security strategy
Extensively collects metadata for AI and ML extensions so that you can create a whole new data set for in depth analysis to assure the trustworthiness of the data used by AI and ML based systems
Discovers unanticipated, undefined failure or attack vectors so that the security adversarial security profile continues to mature

Through a patented Matrix Similarity Trust System, it establishes trustworthiness of the individual system and the solution as a collective.

ARMS Cyber company logo

Arms Cyber

Arms Cyber Defense provides a proactive defense-in-depth cyber security solution by utilizing cutting edge micropatching, mitigating known vulnerabilities, and code diversifying technologies, mitigating zero day attacks. This allows DoD and the IC to focus on operations knowing their systems are secure and have not been breached. Adversaries no longer have the ability to pivot by crafting one exploit that can propagate throughout DoD/IC/Government systems. Arms Cyber Defense proactively hardens DoD/IC/Government application software and containers by diversifying the code structure (think radio frequency hop for software) that secures applications and containers from intrusion and theft from foreign adversaries.

DornerWorks company logo


DornerWorks helps product makers turn their ideas into reality through technological innovation. The Virtual Machine (VM) Composer is the “easy button” that takes away the pain of configuration, construction, and deployment of multi-operating systems using the formally proven, open source, seL4 microkernel. The VM Composer enables developers in a variety of markets to leverage the power of virtualization in their embedded products, realizing the many cost and capability benefits this technology brings, while relying on the high assurance, bug-free hypervisor to provide rock-solid separation and isolation between software stacks.

Lyteloop company logo

Using our innovative technologies, a new space industry can be created – space based Data Centers.
Since late 2015, we have been perfecting our proprietary, patent pending photonic method of data storage which puts data in a constant state of perpetual motion. Achieved through the use of ultra-high bandwidth lasers, data now moves in an endless circulating loop.
LyteLoop’s revolutionary “storage in motion” technique will transform how data is stored while providing a myriad of unique and customizable advantages based on the desired LyteLoop application deployed. LyteLoop now makes it possible to harness the power of light to store huge amounts of data in spaced based Hyperscale Storage Data Centers.

At Vitro, our mission is to replace subjective claims of authority with the objective authentication of secret and secure IoT operating data. Trusted automation relies heavily on authentic real-world data inputs. Vitro Zero-Trust IoT secures remote IoT devices and data (scanners, sensors, scales and meters), then serves authenticated IoT data via a Zero-Trust Broker to trusted automation, including: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Digital Twins and Blockchain Smart Contracts. Vitro Shard mini PCI express cards make IoT connectivity and data authentication autonomous and modular. Vitro Crystal gateways make open, scalable IoT networks simple and secure to provision and operate.

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