CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A), in partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA), have designed, developed and deployed the first element of AURORA software as part of work to enhance the current UK Space Operations Centre — the software went live for operations last month and has been deployed successfully into Defence Digital’s MoD Cloud ICE environment.
Space is part of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and space-based services form an integral part of the nation’s everyday life. The competition and congestion in Earth orbit, increasing threat from debris and the space environment, the behaviors of other space actors and emerging capabilities all highlight the need for substantially enhanced awareness of the space domain. The UK needs to understand this rapidly evolving and dynamic landscape in order to protect, defend and regulate the UK’s space interests, mitigate threats posed to the UK’s assets and CNI, and play its part in assuring safe and responsible behavior in space.
AURORA was developed using a collaborative, consultative approach and employing the industry best-practice Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methodology. Applying a continuous integration and deployment DevSecOps approach ensures AURORA will remain highly adaptive and deliver fit for purpose services that remain competitively relevant into the future.
Air Vice-Marshal Lincoln Taylor, Chief of Staff Capability, for the Royal Air Force, said, “This is an exciting step forwards; AURORA has been developed rapidly, using agile techniques alongside both CGI and our colleagues in Defence Digital; it is the start of a journey to ensure our Space Operations Centre is fit for the challenges of both today and tomorrow.”
Graham Turnock, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Space Agency, said, “Since becoming involved in this project we have enjoyed working closely with CGI and the Royal Air Force to enhance the safety of UK assets in space. The AURORA software will form a crucial part of our national Space Surveillance and Tracking capability and be used by our analysts to monitor the increasing hazard of orbital debris.”
Neil Timms, Senior Vice President for UK & Australia Space Defence and Intelligence at CGI, said, “The UK’s ability to understand activity in the space domain is vital to supporting economic growth, strengthening our geopolitical position and protecting our critical national infrastructure. CGI started working with the RAF back in 2016 and we are proud to continue to work collaboratively with the MOD and UK Space Agency to deliver the AURORA capability in the MOD Cloud environment.”