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MAMA Wraps Up Successful North American Space Summit, Spearheads Cybersecurity Standards for Space Satellites, Systems

MAMA Wraps Up Successful North American Space Summit, Spearheads Cybersecurity Standards for Space Satellites, Systems

Space Force Director Encourages MAMA Members to Lead Commercial Innovation in Space

Sterling Heights, Michigan, Oct. 12, 2022 – After wrapping up another successful North American Space Summit, the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association plans to spearhead the development of cybersecurity standards for space satellites and systems. 

MAMA Executive Director Gavin Brown said the organization was spurred to action after experts in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and quantum information science presenting at the NASS outlined the growing threats from the cyber domain. Brown committed MAMA’s 5G Space-Enabled Communications for Advanced Mobility, or SECAM, initiative to developing the aerospace industry’s first cybersecurity standards proposal for consideration by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, for U.S. and international manufacturers of satellites and systems.   

“The NASS brought to light how broad and pervasive the cyber-threats are within the space domain, sparking significant debate on how these growing threats could negatively affect our manufacturers,” Brown said. “Through SECAM, MAMA will take a leadership role in developing the first aerospace standards for consideration by NIST, which will qualify suppliers and enable them to do business with the federal government much more easily.  

“While NIST has standards for technology as diverse as atomic clocks, electronic health records and the smart electric power grid, no one has yet outlined the protocols needed to ensure satellites and the systems that power them into space can be free from cybersecurity. It’s an honor to take on this incredible – and incredibly timely – project.” 

The SECAM initiative will draw private, government and academic partners to develop a secured space/terrestrial mesh 5G system that will incorporate existing terrestrial 5G technology. This 5G mesh system will utilize near-Earth orbit satellite 5G technology for ground, air, water and space missions. As an innovation accelerator center, that combines quantum computing, AI, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and software and hardware specific to space systems and platforms. 

NIST was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Now one of the nation's oldest physical science laboratories, the agency was established by Congress to remove a major challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time: a second-rate measurement infrastructure . Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies to the largest and most complex of human-made creations — from nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single human hair up to earthquake-resistant skyscrapers. 

U.S. Space Force Director Promotes Collaboration 

U.S. Space Force Director of Staff Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno, who served as a keynote speaker for the fifth annual NASS, spoke for more than an hour about the goals of her agency – and how MAMA members can help.  

Armagno is the only person to have commanded both launch wings in the U.S. Air Force and is the first woman general officer commissioned in the Space Force, a new branch of the armed services focused on organizing, training and equipping the U.S. to conduct global space operations. She is responsible for coordinating policies, plans, positions and procedure issues for Space Force staff.  

The three-star general noted she “fully supported” the collaboration between commercial entities and the government to help the Space Force achieve its mission and goals. Armagno encouraged MAMA members to develop new products and lead commercial innovations in space that members could, in turn, sell to the Space Force and companies working to help the agency achieve its goals.   

Armagno’s military career spans more than three decades in various defense and space operation leadership roles within the Air Force and now the Space Force. Prior to her current role, Armagno was the director of Space Programs at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, where she oversaw the development of space programs, working with the Air Force, Secretary of Defense, Congress and White House. 

“It was such an honor to have Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno speak at this year’s NASS,” Brown said. “Her remarks underscored the very real threats our country faces if we fall behind in the space race. She praised our members and conference attendees for providing innovative products, software and services that will enable the U.S. to retain its superior position on land, sea, air and in space. 

“We have extended an invitation to her to attend every future summit that her schedule will allow. She truly resonated with our attendees, and we are grateful she took time out of her busy schedule to join us so we could all learn.” 

For more information, visit For Armagno’s full biography and photo, click here

About MAMA 

Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association is a member-supported organization that serves the interests of Michigan’s aerospace and defense manufacturing firms with a single unified voice, promoting the state of Michigan’s aerospace and defense manufacturing community within the global industry. Visit for more information. 

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