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Satellite Ground Segment: Applying the Cybersecurity Framework to Satellite Command and Control



Joseph Brule, Theresa Suloway, Suzanne Lightman


Space operations are increasingly important to the national and economic security of the United States. Commercial space's contribution to the critical infrastructure is growing in both volume and diversity of services as illustrated by the increased use of commercial communications satellite (COMSAT) bandwidth, purchase of commercial imagery, and the hosting of government payloads on commercial satellites. The U.S. government recognizes and supports space resilience as illustrated by numerous space policies, executive orders, and the National Cyber Strategy. The space cyber-ecosystem is an inherently risky, high-cost, and often inaccessible environment consisting of distinct yet interdependent segments. This report applies the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to the ground segment of space operations with an emphasis on the command and control of satellite buses and payloads.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8401
Report Number


control, critical infrastructure, Cybersecurity Framework, ground segment, risk management, space operations, telemetry, tracking


brule, J. , Suloway, T. and Lightman, S. (2022), Satellite Ground Segment: Applying the Cybersecurity Framework to Satellite Command and Control, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed June 13, 2024)


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Created December 30, 2022