NorSat-TD will demonstrate new technologies from France, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway.
Friday the 22nd of January 2021 the Netherlands Space Office and the Norwegian Space Agency signed an agreement that places Dutch high-technology on Norway's new national satellite NorSat Technology Demonstrator (NorSat-TD).
The signing ceremony took place simultaneously at the embassies i both countries.
NorSat-TD will test technologies in orbit for Norwegian companies, state actors and international partners.
Moreover, the new satellite will increase the competency of the Norwegian space sector, particularly in the field of advanced communications technologies, as well as in satellite control and operations in orbit.
NorSat-TD is currently in the integration phase.
The signing took place at the residence of the Dutch ambassador in Oslo and at the residence of the Norwegian ambassador in The Hague.
Present at the signing in Oslo were Tom van Oorschot, the Dutch ambassador to Norway, and Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, Director General for the Norwegian Space Agency, as well as other representatives from the Norwegian Space Agency.
Present at the signing in The Hague were Bård Svendsen, the Norwegian ambassador to the Netherlands, and Harm van de Wetering, Director General for the Netherlands Space Office, as well as other representatives from the Netherlands Space Office.
Christian Hauglie-Hanssen (left) and Tom van Oorschot signed the agreement for NorSat-TD and SmallCAT in Oslo. Foto: NOSA
The signing was done in parallel via transmission on video.
- It is great to get a ride from our Norwegian colleagues. This cooperation enables us to demonstrate promising high-tech for small satellites, says Harm van de Wetering, Director General of Netherlands Space Office.
- The Norsat-TD mission demonstrates the powerful impact of bilateral cooperation in the space domain. Cooperation on capacities which serve national needs, as well as satisfy future commercial ambition, serves as an important complement to Norway´s space activities within ESA and the EU, says Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, Director General of the Norwegian Space Agency.
Netherlands Space Office (NSO) will, in partnership with the Norwegian Space Agency (NOSA), test communication between NorSat-TD and ground stations via laser technology. This payload has been delievered from TNO in the Netherlands.
With the Dutch payload, called Small Communication Active Terminal (SmallCAT), the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFO) will perform crucial tests in laser communication with their ground stations.
Harm van de Wetering (left) and Bård Svendsen signed the agreement for NorSat-TD and SmallCAT in The Hague. Photo: NOSA
French company ThrustMe will, in cooperation with the French space organization CNES together with NOSA, test a new electrical thruster that uses iodine as fuel.
This thruster will increase Norway's competency in the operation and control of micro-satellites in low orbits.
NorSat-TD's payloads also include a miniaturized laser reflector from the Italian research institute INRI SCF Lab. This technology reflects laser beams from the ground to measure the distance to the satellite and determine its position in orbit.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority also uses such laster technology for geodetic measurements. Thus, NorSat-TD will be tracked by laser ground stations at the Norwegian Mapping Authority's laboratory at Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard, as well as by partners in France and Italy.
SmallCAT is the Dutch payload on NorSat-TD and will demonstrate laser communication in space. Illustration: TNO
Space Norway will demonstrate a new and improved technology, called VDES, for two-way communication between satellittes, ships and land. This technology will, together with Norway's national satellite NorSat-2, contribute to the development of a robust small-band network for the Artcic.
With NorSat-TD Fugro will loft its technology for maritime control and tracking up into space. This technology, called Space Star, will determine the satelllites position with an accuracy of 10 centimeters in real time, and improve collision detection for satellites in orbit.
As with the other Norwegian satellites, NorSat-1 and NorSat-2, launched in July 2017, NorSat-TD will carry an AIS receiver from Kongsberg Seatex for monitoring ship traffic from space.
This new and miniaturized fifth generation AIS receiver will also be used to test the Internet Of Things in the Arctic.
The new AIS receiver will monitor ship traffic in Norwegian and international waters via the international anti-collision system AIS, which all ships above 300 gross tonnes are obliged to carry onboard.
NorSat-TD's payloads will require a slightly larger satellite than NorSat-1 and NorSat-2.
Thus, NorSat-TD will measure 30x30x40 centimeters and weigh approximately 35 kilos, while NorSat-1 and -2 measure 20x20x40 centimeters and weigh approximately 16 kilos. More information about the Norwegian satellites here.
NorSat-1 (background) and NorSat-2 (foreground) in orbit over Lofoten and Northern-Norway. Illustration: T. Abrahamsen
NorSat-TD has already passed its final design review. Currently the satellite bus is being built and integrated by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies - Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS), with launch planned for the first quarter of 2022.
Norway's technology demonstrator in space is an important milestone for both the Norwegian Space Agency and the Norwegian space sector.
Tyler Jones – Project Manager, satellittes – Norwegian Space Agency – +47 941 32 846
Christian Hauglie-Hanssen – Director General – Norwegian Space Agency – +47 920 60 043
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