Thomas González Roberts wins 2023 Prize for Innovation in Global Security

The Geneva Centre for Security Policy has awarded PhD student Thomas González Roberts (ARCLab) first place in the 2023 Prize for Innovation in Global Security competition.

Roberts developed his project, “Measuring Norms in Outer Space,” after a series of research interviews conducted in Geneva, Switzerland, with engineers and career professionals at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for preventing harmful interference between satellites in the radio-frequency spectrum. It features a revolutionary data-driven tool for understanding how well satellite operators follow the international rules and guidelines that govern the space domain. In particular, the new tool—called the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Compliance Assessment Monitor, or “ITU-CAM”—assesses geosynchronous (GEO) satellite operators’ compliance with the ITU Radio Regulations, a dense list of rules designed to prevent harmful interference in the radio-frequency spectrum. The project also won the MIT Prize for Open Data in October. 

“Prof. Oli de Weck was critical in getting me to Switzerland. As the faculty director of the MIT-Switzerland Program, he connected me with his colleagues at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), who then appointed me as a visiting researcher in their EPFL Space Center this past summer,” said Roberts.

Read more about the award here.