AFRL developing ‘cyber range’ for space operators

This article is mainly talking about use the cyber training range to practice defending satellites using actual spacecraft in orbit. The Air Force Research Laboratory will use experimental cubesats to create a training environment for cybersecurity exercises. The AFRL Information Directorate is trying to build a cyber range for both the Space Force and other organizations and this cyber range would be used to realistic simulate the alien cyberattacks on the satellites and ground system. Since the U.S. military worries its satellite networks could be attacked and targeted, and this’s the reason why they wanted to create a cyber training range and simulate some attacks to test if the strengthen of the cyber defense of satellites is satisfied.

Based on the statement from Thomas Parisi who is the program manager at the AFRL Information Directorate, some cyber defense experts are recently more concentrated on the work of space arena and focus on how to improve the cybersecurity. Besides, with the growing demand for cyber defense exercises, a simulated cyber training environment is necessary, which can be used to replicate the real-world satellite operations. However, although there is much virtual equipment for the cyber defense exercises, none of the military researchers or operators can be able to use the real spacecraft to practice defensing satellites. In this case, AFRL decides to cooperate with a research company that specializes in the development of space cyber range to try to use the real spacecraft in the cyber training range to do the satellites defense tests. Meanwhile, they could determine the concepts, technologies and the next generation cyber defense abilities that are useful for this practice. 

After reading this article, I think this research will have a good chance of success if the funding issue can be solved. But in my opinion, this may not be a big problem because the government will provide the funding support. After all, the research can not only protect human and society but also promote the development of the space field. Besides, operating a real spacecraft in space to conduct satellites defense practice will contribute a greater impact and influence than only simulating testing with virtual equipment in the laboratory.