A leading player in the Norwegian space industry
This is Space Norway
A range of important and critical functions depend on information from satellites. Space Norway’s role is to manage and develop strategic space infrastructure to serve important Norwegian societal needs. Space Norway provides infrastructure services at wholesale level to a limited number of major customers, who in turn serve a wide range of end customers. The company is 100% owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and represents a key part of the Norwegian Government’s activities and assets in the space sector.
Svalbard fibre optic cable
Svalbard is in a geographically advantageous location for downloading data from satellites in polar orbits. Efficient transfer of large volumes of data to the mainland became a prerequisite for enabling further development of the business. The Norwegian Space Agency therefore took the initiative to establish a 1,400-kilometre subsea fibre-optic cable connection between the mainland and Svalbard. Space Norway was given the assignment to establish the connection and is today the owner and operator of this important infrastructure. The fibre connection became operational in January 2004 and is now a prerequisite for KSAT’s activities on Svalbard as well as for the Longyearbyen community in general.
Broadband in the Arctic
Space Norway provides the Troll Station in Antarctica with a satellite broadband connection. The capacity is delivered via a long-term lease of a dedicated capacity on the Thor 7 satellite. The satellite is owned and operated by Telenor Satellite, a subsidiary of Telenor ASA. The capacity is sub-leased in its entirety to KSAT.
Ground stations for communication with satellites
Kongsberg Satellite Services, KSAT, is a joint venture owned 50/50 by Space Norway and Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, a division of the publicly listed company Kongsberg Gruppen ASA. KSAT is a world leader in its category. The company’s operations include ground stations for communication with satellites, and for reception and processing of data in near real time and also services related to the use of such data.
Operation of the AIS satellites for the Norwegian Costal Administration
The Norwegian Costal Administration uses satellites for maritime surveillance and retrieve AIS signals from global shipping traffic. When using AIS, ships send information about position, speed, direction and more. As of the end of 2020, the satellite fleet in operation consists of four micro-satellites (AISSAT-1, AISSAT-2, NorSat-1 and NorSat-2) in polar orbits, between 595 and 625 kilometres above sea level.
Satellite constellation for broadband in the Arctic
Communication via satellite requires that the user terminal has a clear view of the satellite. Broadband via satellite in these areas has therefore not been possible. For decades, there has been an unmet need for satellite-based broadband communications in the Arctic. In partnership with the Norwegian Armed Forces, Inmarsat and the U.S. Space Force, Space Norway will now establish such communication services. The Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM) programme was given the go-ahead in 2019, and is so far the largest satellite programme ever rolled out in Norway. They launch is scheduled for 2023.
Maritime surveillance with small radar satellites
MicroSAR is a development project in cooperation with KSAT and FFI on maritime surveillance based on small radar satellites. The project was initiated in 2016 and will, if realised, provide a very capable radar capacity for surveillance of Norwegian waters. The project has defined a technical solution and identified suppliers of critical components. The payloads are developed and manufactured in Norway.
Digitisation of shipping
The VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) is a system under development designed to contribute to e-navigation and digitisation of shipping. In 2015, Space Norway, in partnership with Kongsberg Seatex and FFI, won a contract for the development of a prototype VDES payload. Since then, the company has established a leading role internationally in specification, development and testing of the VDES system. The focus has been on the system’s satellite component. With the advantages of the VDES system, there is reason to expect that the system will become an important communication platform for global shipping and an important contribution to increased safety and digitisation of shipping.Read more about digitisation of shipping