RHEA Group: cybersecurity and integrated satellite-based services to support Luxembourg’s strategy
RHEA Group is unique in combining longstanding engineering expertise in space and cybersecurity. Based on these two pillars, we have been providing critical cybersecurity services to institutional and commercial space programmes and applications for many years, while expanding our value chain portfolio.
Over the last 30 years, we have delivered a wide range of services to the space sector, from mission operations to ground system engineering, including full lifecycle solutions. We have worked on over 120 space missions, including complex science spacecraft, Earth observation and communications satellites, from design to end-of-life services. During that time, we have acquired experience that is highly valued by our clients and positions us as a trusted independent partner that offers internationally recognized expertise to advise a variety of actors in the space and defence sectors.
Our unique combination of space and cybersecurity expertise, and our staunch support in fulfilling our clients’ long-term objectives, are valued by key organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union (EU), the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), NATO, and national governmental and defence agencies.
Luxembourg – A country that counts in European space
Over the years, Luxembourg has become a world-leading financial centre. It has equally ambitious targets for its flourishing and vibrant space sector, building on the success it has already had in areas such as broadcasting and satellite communications.
Space has long been a strategic priority for Luxembourg’s government, which has been an ESA Member State since 2005, and one of the top five per capita contributors to ESA. The country’s ambitions to become a leading space nation were further advanced when it established the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) in 2018 to build up the country’s space industry, in addition to supporting education and workforce development.
Core local competences and innovation are of the essence
Luxembourg has always had a very clear focus on stimulating the economy and understands that one way to do this is to attract new companies and skilled foreign individuals to the country, both of which help to build new competencies.
For space, Luxembourg has defined three priority areas: satellite communications, space resources and security – the last of these including both cybersecurity and environmental security, such as space situational awareness and space debris. In cybersecurity, Luxembourg is one of the most skilled European countries, with an ambitious cybersecurity strategy that is being implemented under the stimulus of core organizations such as SecurityMadein.lu.
With so many exciting initiatives underway in Luxembourg across many sectors, including space and cybersecurity, RHEA Group opened a local subsidiary in 2020, headed by new RHEA System Luxembourg S.A. Managing Director Pascal Rogiest, the former CEO of LuxTrust and Vice-President M&A of SES. “Luxembourg is a very exciting country to do business in, thanks to the forward-looking government, which promotes innovation and provides support for commercially-viable entrepreneurial companies. Its national strategies, including the one for space, along with its plans for areas such as 5G and cybersecurity, are ambitious but also achievable. We look forward to exploring the many associated opportunities with the country stakeholders, supporting them to build their sustainable industrial plan that aims to develop unique local core competencies.”
RHEA’s strategy in Luxembourg
RHEA System Luxembourg’s strategy has been developed to match and support the objectives of the LSA and the Luxembourg Government in several areas. These include: developing indigenous national expertise and core competences; supporting innovation to foster the development of an entrepreneurial space community; and developing the skills associated with a space economy, one of the country’s core economic pillars. This can provide the foundation to accelerate the country’s development of satellite communications and related applications, space security and space resources.
As an example, in anticipation of the convergence of satellite and terrestrial communications at functional and security levels, RHEA is one of the four companies creating the space pillar/dataspace for the new European cloud framework GAIA-X. We are a member of the GAIA-X Luxembourg Regional Hub, which will be coordinated by Luxinnovation. We will be an early participant in the definition of future specifications and will provide cybersecurity elements that are going to play a crucial role in securing GAIA-X-based applications. For Luxembourg, being part of GAIA-X is a chance to gather and develop common requirements for a European data infrastructure that is federated, secure and sovereign, both from within and for the country.
RHEA’s goal is to contribute to the growth of sustainable local expertise and differentiation in Luxembourg, especially in the domains of cybersecurity and space engineering and operations. This includes integrated solutions that leverage our extensive engineering and solutions competences, and we are working with local partners on related initiatives.