Small Satellites Constellations and Their Impact on CBRNe Management in Africa

Dear colleagues,


It is a pleasure to announce that a new scientific paper has been published on the CBRN special, that is one of the 3 the special issue of SICC Series - CBRNe Conference 2020 published on the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering (Guest editors of the special issue: Dr. Andrea Malizia, Dr. Marco D'Arienzo and Dr. Parag Chatterjee).


Morea, D., Sciortino, G.P. (2021). Small satellites constellations and their impact on CBRNe management in Africa. International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 387-395.





A wave of small satellites massive constellations, in the range of hundreds of units each, is progressively populating the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with a low-price, and varied, offer of Telecom (speed band) and Earth Imaging services (Starlink, Planet, One Web, etc.). It is a market - driven trend based on new satellite interlocking technologies, which cut down the supplier costs of launch and in orbit operations compared to the traditional technology based on big (and much heavier) geostationary satellites operating at high altitudes. This is a disruptive phenomenon especially for the developing world, where such vital services have always been hard to access, and their use therefore remained scarce, not consolidated, or even completely missing. Among these, Emergency management is definitely crucial. The geographical focus of this study is Africa and it deals not only with Institutional PRS users but with a wider potential context (corporations, private subjects, etc.). It clearly appears that a general degree of “Country readiness” toward Space technology and organization is necessary for these initiatives to take place. This can be achieved through certified international cooperation.

The authors then, based on an estimated demand Model for services with their relative pricing corresponding to a cost-designed constellation of small microsatellites, presented already, among other, at several International Astronautical Federation(IAF)Symposia on Space Economy, simulate the resulting type of services available: TLC by band types and relative upload and download rates, Earth imaging by refresh rates and optical quality and resolution, Ground segment configuration for signal backhauling and user terminal receiving.. This info is applied to a specific African Country case (Nigeria) whose significance emerged over other Countries after the application of comparative grids. Finally, an insight on the specifically configuration of services for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNe) like management by local users, both maritime and land, with the relative costs, is offered. This is consequently left open for follow ups and discussion, due to the customer – design, project financing approaches of this Model programme.

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