Leonardo Spearheads European Space Cloud Initiative for Military Applications


  • Leonardo pioneers MILSCA, creating a Space Cloud with supercomputers and AI on military satellites.
  • Space Cloud boosts data processing in orbit, ensuring real-time info delivery and Earth network backup.
  • Collaboration with Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space revolutionizes space-based tech for defense and beyond.

Leonardo, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and security, has embarked on a groundbreaking project titled “Military Space Cloud Architecture” (MILSCA), commissioned by the Italian Ministry of Defense. 

This initiative, part of the National Military Research Plan, aims to revolutionize space-based computing and storage capabilities for government and national Armed Forces.

Innovative space cloud architecture

The MILSCA project marks a significant milestone for Europe, introducing a space architecture akin to terrestrial cloud systems. This pioneering endeavor envisions a constellation of cyber-secure satellites orbiting Earth, equipped with supercomputers, artificial intelligence (AI), and extensive storage capacity. 

Developed with integrated cyber security measures, the Space Cloud will facilitate swift and flexible information processing and sharing, ensuring enhanced operational efficiency.

Each satellite within the MILSCA constellation will boast remarkable capabilities, including storage capacity exceeding 100 Terabytes and processing power surpassing 250 TFLOPS. Leveraging advanced algorithms powered by AI and machine learning techniques, these satellites can autonomously communicate and exchange data with one another. 

This cyber-secure supercomputer and archive system will grant users access to critical data such as communication, earth observation, and navigation, even in remote areas and under challenging conditions.

Strategic significance

The implementation of a Space Cloud system offers numerous strategic advantages. The project significantly reduces processing times by processing data directly in orbit, enabling real-time information delivery and facilitating multi-domain and multi-national operations. 

Moreover, traditional transmission networks are freed for other communications by offloading data processing to space, enhancing overall network efficiency. Additionally, storing data in orbit is a vital backup, mitigating risks associated with terrestrial centers vulnerable to natural disasters.

Leonardo leads the MILSCA project in collaboration with joint ventures Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space, leveraging their combined expertise in aerospace, telecommunications, and defense. 

The 24-month study encompasses two phases: defining the architecture and developing a digital twin of the satellite with a demonstrator for high-performance computing (HPC) and multi-constellation satellite terminals. 

These phases aim to simulate various application scenarios and validate the feasibility and benefits of the Space Cloud architecture.

Future implications and beyond

The MILSCA project lays the foundation for future endeavors, extending its potential applications beyond defense. Civil Earth observation programs and space exploration missions stand to benefit from the rapid data processing capabilities offered by an in-orbit cloud computing architecture. 

As technological innovation progresses in the aerospace sector, initiatives like MILSCA pave the way for advancements in space-based infrastructure and data management.

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James Kinoti

A crypto enthusiast, James finds pleasure in sharing knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. The latest innovations in the crypto industry, crypto gaming, AI, blockchain technology, and other technologies are his preoccupation. His mission: be on track with transformative applications in various industries.

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