Cyber Security

Advanced Cybersecurity Protection Part of Satellite Flight Software

Emergent Space Technologies Integrates RunSafe’s Alkemist into its Gear Flight Software Pipeline

Proven via an AFWERX Space Challenge in 2020 and a U.S. Space Force-funded prototype in 2021, RunSafe Security’s advanced cybersecurity protection is now part of Emergent’s Gear satellite flight software production build chain. Emergent’s customers achieve increased cyber resilience, benefiting from RunSafe’s run-time protections embedded in Emergent’s flight software.

“Emergent’s approach is to build-in cybersecurity into our flight software (FSW) products from the outset. We were impressed at how easily we integrated Alkemist into our existing software build chain and it complemented our existing cyber defense approach,” said Dr. George Davis, CEO of Emergent.

Emergent has a layered architectural approach for integrating and managing FSW services in a sustainable, maintainable, and interoperable way. Emergent’s Gear Framework and software development kit (SDK) enables plug-and-play of FSW into modular open-source architectures (MOSA), spacecraft buses, and payload interfaces and rapid development of 3rd party FSW applications.

“Emergent’s flight software is a perfect use case for Alkemist. It’s Linux-based software and Emergent’s customers require a high level of cyber resilience to ensure mission success,” said Joe Saunders, Founder & CEO of RunSafe. “We’re excited to support Emergent and the Space Force, in addition to our related work with the Air Force, Navy, and Marines.”

RunSafe’s patented Alkemist technology protects against known and unknown vulnerabilities – without changing original software functionality and without slowing down software development – even when a patch is not available. Alkemist is integrated at build time for protection at run time. In September 2020, AFWERX selected RunSafe as one of seven finalists in the Space Asset Resiliency category of its 2020 Space Challenge. This selection made RunSafe eligible to propose its solution to the Space Force.

RunSafe and Emergent teamed on the effort, combining cyber and space expertise. The solution involved:

  1. Alkemist integration into the existing Gear software pipeline,
  2. Confirmation of no change to the original flight software functionality, and
  3. Increased cyber resilience and reduced attack surface via Alkemist’s software memory protection.
    The successful prototype phase concluded in January 2022 with a presentation and demonstration for Col. Heather Bogstie at the Aerospace Corporation campus in El Segundo, CA.

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