Arctic space

February/23/2018
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Arctic space

Norwegian minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, visited Kongsberg Satellite Services’ ground station at Svalbard and highlighted the strategic importance of the station, both for Svalbard as a community and for Norway.

- First of all I have to say it’s an amazing experience to visit such an extraordinary location as this. A spectacular view, Røe Isaksen stated upon arrival at the Kongsberg Satellite Services’ (KSAT) SvalSat ground station overlooking Svalbard.

The ground station of SvalSat, located at 78°N (1200 km south of the North Pole) on Svalbard, is the most optimally located ground station in the world for satellite control and downloading data.


SvalSat is the only commercial ground station in the world able to provide all-orbit-support (14 of 14 orbits) to owners and operators of polar orbiting satellites.

The extreme northern location on the Svalbard archipelago, gives SvalSat its unique and favourable position.

The satellite coverage at this latitude holds unique opportunities and SvalSat is the only commercial ground station in the world able to provide all-orbit-support (14 of 14 orbits) to owners and operators of polar orbiting satellites.

- KSAT is a success story and an example of how the Norwegian space industry has world leading positions. Their growth and increasing demand from customers from all over the world shows what a unique position they have. KSAT has been very important for Norway, and will continue to be so for many years to come, Røe Isaksen said.


Rolf Skatteboe, CEO of KSAT and the Norwegian minister of Trade and Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen visiting SvalSat Ground Station.

Close to 100 antennas by 2020

Kongsberg Satellite Services’ ground station at Svalbard has more than 40 antennas that together with KSAT’s other ground station antennas around the world service customers globally.

In the next two years SvalSat plans to increase the number of antennas to close to more than 100 antennas. Station director at SvalSat, Ole Petter Storstad, highlighted the people of the station as the most important asset.


In the next two years SvalSat plans to increase the number of antennas to close to more than 100 antennas. Photo: Pål Laukøy.

- The geographic position and the infrastructure we have built here is of course important, but it’s the people that are crucial. We’ve built up world leading competence and operations knowledge.

That makes me confident that we will continue to maintain and strengthen our strong position, Storstad stated when asked by the minister what he would point to as the most important reason for SvalSat’s growth and position.

Long-term cornerstone of Svalbard

Røe Isaksen visited SvalSat in connection with meetings with the local community at Svalbard as the ministry is working on a strategy for business development at Svalbard.

Located midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Longyearbyen is the largest settlement with approximately 2 200 inhabitants.


The coal mining industry on Svalbard has been considerably reduced later years. Photo: Ove Ronny Haraldsen.

For many years the cornerstone of the town was the coal mining industry, but the activity has been considerably reduced later years.

This has entailed a need for increasing employment in other areas. The SvalSat station is in this context an important part of the future of the Longyearbyen and Svalbard community.

- I would also like to point out the importance that the Svalbard station has for the Svalbard community. It is an important business securing long-term technology jobs with spin-off effects to the rest of the Svalbard society, Røe Isaksen said.


SvalSat Ground Station is of great importance for the Svalbard community. Longyearbyen is the largest settlement with approximately 2 200 inhabitants.

- A very important spin-off from the satellite activity is the fiber optical cable we were able to install to serve our customers. The high-speed connectivity brought affordable internet and communication to the island and has opened a lot of opportunity for the local population, said Rolf Skatteboe, CEO of KSAT.

- We want to be actively engaged and be part of building and maintaining a living local community in Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen is dependent on us, as we are dependent on Longyearbyen. Our policy is that all members of our team here have to live in Longyearbyen, and not commute in and out. This has been a success recipe we won’t change, Storstad concludes.

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Svalbard

  • Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole.
  • The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude.
  • The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya.
  • Administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area administered by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government.
  • Since 2002, Svalbard’s main settlement, Longyearbyen, has had an elected local government, somewhat similar to mainland municipalities.

Source: Wikipedia

Kongsberg Satellite Services

  • Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (KSAT) is a commercial Norwegian enterprise, uniquely positioned to provide ground station and earth observation services for polar orbiting satellites.
  • With three interconnected polar ground stations; Tromsø at 69°N, Svalbard (SvalSat) at 78°N and Antarctic TrollSat Station at 72°S, and a growing mid-latitude network, KSAT operates about 100 antennas optimally positioned for access to polar orbits.
  • For satellite owners, KSAT provides unique pole-to-pole coverage, including the largest ground station in the world at Svalbard – the only commercial ground station in the world able to provide all-orbit-support (14 passes per day).
  • Svalbard Satellite Station (SvalSat) was established in 1996 and is today the world’s largest commercial ground station with more than 60 state-of-the-art multi-mission and customer dedicated antenna systems.

Contact

Ove Ronny Haraldsen

Corporate Communication Manager

MOBILE:
+47 99 15 59 20
E-MAIL:
ove.ronny.haraldsen@kongsberg.com

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