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The planned Norwegian satellite Norsat-1. Illustration: T. Abrahamsen
T. Abrahamsen

New Norwegian Satellite - NORSAT-1

A new Norwegian satellite, will be built to investigate solar radiation, space weather and detect ship traffic. Inititally named NORSAT-1, the launch is planned for 2015. The NSC will coordinate the development and the integration of the instruments.

"The Norwegian Space Center will, during 2013, acquire a new small satellite, initially named NORSAT-1, to perform various scientific experiments," says Magne Osmundsen, senior advisor for industry coordination at the Norwegian Space Centre and project manager for the new satellite.

As the Norwegian satellite AISSat-1, launched in July 2010, NORSAT-1 will carry an AIS receiver for performing ship detection from space. The new AIS receiver will be more advanced and employed to test out new detection algorithms.

This AIS receiver will detect and track maritime traffic in Norwegian and international waters via the  Automatic Identification System (AIS), which all ships over 300 gross tonnes are obliged to carry.

A deeper involvement for the NSC

The instruments planned for NORSAT-1 will require a larger satellite platform than that of AISSat-1.

They will cover several aspects of scientific research focusing on the sun, including measuring Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) with one instrument, and measuring electron plasma from the sun with a Langmuir probe.

The two instruments are being constructed by Norwegian and international research teams, and were chosen because they were the furthest along in their development process and fit the overall plans for the satellite best.

The Norwegian Space Centre will coordinate the development and the integration of the instruments for the new satellite platform.

"We will have a much greater technical role than we've had in earlier space projects, we regard the scientific elements in this project to be of considerable interest for the activities of the Norwegian Space Centre," Osmundsen says.

The new satellite will also have its mission control in Norway, requiring the right competence and infrastructure to be built.

Launch planned for 2015

NORSAT-1 has its launch set for 2015 to a polar orbit at approximately 600 kilometers height.

The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), Space Flight Laboratory, will construct the platform for the satellite and integrate the payloads before launch. 


Magne Osmundsen - Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre - (+47) 22 51 00 36 / (+47) 908 44 675