New technology from IDEAS and Space Norway keeps EU satellites safe

In a few years, the EU launches its next generation Galileo navigation satellites, the ones that give us positioning data, for gadgets such as mobile phones and watches. Together, Space Norway and IDEAS facilitate radiation data that will help the EU in planning the Galileo launch. 

After detachment from the space rocket, it will take the Galileo satellites several months to reach their designated orbit, and during this period, they are exposed to severe radiation. The phase of finding its correct orbital path is called orbit raising, and for those who launch the satellites it is important to protect them as much as possible during this period. Space Norway is building two large satellites which will move in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) in order to provide mobile broadband communication to the Arctic. For each orbit made, the satellites pass through the same altitudes as the Galileo satellites pass through during their orbit raising. With data from Space Norway’s satellites, the EU will have more accurate information about this radiation, and thus be able to better protect their future navigation satellites.

Space Norway and IDEAS cooperate in including a radiation monitor on one of the HEO satellites, and together they have made an agreement with the EU Commission on delivery of radiation data. With IDEAS’ monitor on board Space Norway’s satellite, Norwegian companies contribute to both national and European space targets and efforts. IDEAS is a Norwegian high-tech company with special competence within radiation, and with the support of the Norwegian Space Agency they have built a radiation monitor for mapping space radiation.

The monitor will deliver valuable radiation information from the unusual highly elliptical orbit, and from the Norwegian point of view, it is a considerable contribution to future space projects in the EU – especially to the EU navigation program. Based on traditionally important research within space weather and solar radiation, Norway demonstrates an important contribution to the EU space ambitions.

This cooperation is in line with the ambition of the new Norwegian space strategy of establishing robust space infrastructure supporting national security needs.

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