Hidden Risk: UN report shows critical weaknesses in the supply chain that all satellites, like GPS, need to operate every day

“The weaknesses in the global geodesy supply chain could have catastrophic impacts on critical infrastructure and national economies”, says Nick Brown, Head of Office at the United Nations Global Geodetic Centre of Excellence (UN-GGCE) and author of the report.

Society’s dependence on satellite services for economic development, the operation of critical infrastructure and defence applications is very high and growing at a rapid pace.

Satellite services are at risk of degradation or failure due to the lack of resources provided to the global geodesy supply chain.

“For satellites to operate accurately and reliably, their place in space and Earths’s place in space need to be observed and analysed constantly, and uploaded to satellites,” Nick Brown explains.

This place in space information is generated from a global geodesy supply chain which includes ground station observatories distributed around the world, along with data- and analysis centres all operated by highly qualified people.

In the report the UN recommends that key activities for Member States to avoid further degradation of the supply chain include: strengthening national awareness and governance in geodesy; recognizing the global geodesy supply chain as national critical infrastructure; and, engaging in bilateral or multilateral agreements with other Member States.

For more information and evidence: