Brigadier General Danilo Morando, Italian Ministry of Defence, visits SatCen
On 6 April 2022, SatCen had the pleasure of welcoming a delegation from the Intelligence and Security Department (RIS) of the Italian Ministry of Defence, headed by Brigadier General Danilo Morando. This first visit allowed for a detailed presentation of the Centre’s activities and a sharing of insights regarding the operational use of new and innovative technologies.
SatCen Director Sorin Ducaru kick-started the event by presenting SatCen in a broader political context, pinpointing the importance of space as a strategic issue increasingly linked to the security component. Amb. Ducaru highlighted SatCen's contributions to the four pillars of the Strategic Compass and discussed the Centre’s support for strategic autonomy, both through its core mission activities and engagement with European industry.
Mr Marcello Moretti, Operations Manager, provided an operational overview, discussing the Centre’s comprehensive activity, from supporting EU Missions and Operations, like EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, to other analysis activities relevant to today’s security context. Mr Moretti underlined the importance of complementarity, discussing the varied expertise of SatCen’s operational team, and the consolidation of new technologies with human expertise.
In this regard, Mr Alexis Letulier, Head of IT, discussed SatCen’s culture of innovation, focusing on the development of operational tools to support GEOINT needs. SatCen’s product portfolio ranges from reconnaissance and data collection/management tools to artificial intelligence models that serve SatCen’s wide portfolio of tasking.
The delegation was further briefed on SatCen’s cooperation with the Commission, through the Copernicus Programme and SSA. Mr Andrea Patrono, Head of Capability Development Division, discussed the Copernicus SEA component, highlighting Italy’s collaboration throughout the years. In addition, SatCen’s unique role as EU SST Front Desk responsible for providing the interface for the delivery of the SST services of collision avoidance, fragmentation analysis and re-entry prediction was presented.
Regarding the visit, and in light of SatCen’s 30th anniversary, Brigadier General Morando noted:
“Today, I had the unique opportunity to observe, first hand, how SatCen, from Torréjon de Ardoz, in Spain, plays a critical and fundamental role in the decision-making process under CFSP/CSDP of the European Union. Mission success, cutting edge technology, partnership and resilience are only some of the qualities (that describe SatCen). While approaching SatCen’s 30th anniversary, I would like to congratulate Amb. Ducaru and his dedicated team of professionals for this important milestone, wishing further success and a bright future!”
The visit has underscored Italy’s consistent role as an important supporter of and contributor to SatCen activity and development objectives in line with the growing EU level of ambition in the security, defence and space domains and growing user demand for providing reliable and autonomous geospatial analysis for effective decision-making and action.