The Svalbard fibre
Svalbard has an ideal geographical location for downloading data from satellites in polar orbits. SvalSat, the Svalbard satellite ground station at 78 degrees north, is the northernmost ground station in the world and started operation in 1997. Today, the fibre represents a critcal resource for the Svalbard community.
Satellite connection to the Troll station
Space Norway makes use of a satellite connection from the Norwegian research station Troll in Antarctica between Telenor’s Thor-7 satellite and back to Norway.
Thor-7 was launched in April 2015 and the specially designed transponder provides a greatly improved connection for the Troll station, where KSAT gradually has aquired many antennas for downloading satellite data. The transponder on Thor-7 acts as a kind of “fibre in space”, and makes it possible to retrieve large amounts of data in a very cost-efficient way.
An important part of the group’s mandate is R&D and development of strategic space-related infrastructure. Satellite projects are technically complicated, resource-intensive and typically require 2-5 years from investment decision to launch/operation, requiring more time when new technology is involved.