Detecting space hazards

A cost-benefit analysis of the SSA programme

29/09/2016 1470 views 8 likes
ESA / About Us / Business with ESA / Global Space Economic Forum

The ESA Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme supports Europe's independent utilisation of, and access to space through the provision of timely and accurate information and data regarding the space environment, particularly hazards that pose a risk to infrastructure in orbit and on the ground.

In 2016, a cost-benefit analysis of the programme was supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers in cooperation with the UK Met Office.

The report provides a quantitative and qualitative ex-ante assessment of the economic costs and benefits that could be realised from the implementation of ESA’s SSA programme.

The benefits of the ESA services were measured for particular sectors by calculating how the planned ESA services could help reduce the adverse impact of such things as space weather events, near earth objects entering the atmosphere, or space debris collisions.

The resultant cost savings and additional revenues were considered alongside the estimated costs of launching and operating these programmes.

The presentation presents the results of the study focusing on the Space Weather Element (SWE) of the SSA programme, including:

  • A critical review and update of the entities and stakeholders of the services developed within ESA’s SWE;
  • An analysis of the consequences (impact assessment or do-nothing scenario) that Europe might face if the services to be provided through the infrastructure developed within the ESA SWE were not available;
  • An analysis of the impacts in the downstream (enabled market assessments).


The full assessment of the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme includes information on Near Earth Objects (NEO), and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST). This information can be made available only to official members of the ESA Member States Delegations.

For more information, please contact Luca Del Monte.

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