The Norwegian pavilion at the International Astronautical Congress 2018 will showcase Norway’s space industry.
The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the world’s largest space conference, drawing thousands of participants from space organizations, industry, research, education, governments and other stakeholders from all over the world.
The conference is held annually at different locations, with Bremen in Germany being host this year, from October 1stto October 5th2018.
Right in the middle of the market
This year’s IAC will have a Norwegian pavilion with stands from several Norwegian space companies in the exhibition area. The pavilion is supported by the Norwegian Space Centre, with The Norwegian industry forum for space activities (NIFRO) as co-organizer.
- We’re exhibiting a pavilion because the impact of one pavilion with several stands will be much greater than that of individual stands spread out in the large exhibition area, says Eline Oftedal, CEO of NIFRO.
SvalSat is KSAT's ground segment for downloading satellite data at Svalbard. The smaller antennas belong to KSAT Lite, a ground segment especially developed for small satellites. Foto: KSAT.
The pavilion will make it easier for smaller companies to join the exhibition and still remain visible in the large and crowded area.
- This year’s conference is also especially important because it’s held in Bremen, in the middle of the European space agency ESA’s market and also the main market for the Norwegian space industry, Oftedal says.
Norwegian companies and presentations at the IAC
14 Norwegian space businesses will exhibit stands at the Norwegian pavilion, including Andøya Space Center, CMR Prototech, IDEAS, the Kongsberg Group, Nammo, NAROM and others.
The Norwegian Space Centre is the pavilion’s main partner and will also have a stand there.
- NIFRO is very pleased with the Norwegian Space Centre’s support, and we’ve worked closely together to make the pavilion happen, says Oftedal.
Testing of Nammo's hybrid rocket in 2016. Foto: Nammo.
In addition to the large exhibition area, IAC 2018 will feature more than 2000 presentations in 180 differently themed sessions.
One of the Norwegian speakers is Jon Harr at the Norwegian Space Center. He will be talking about the use of small satellites to monitor maritime traffic and other activities at sea.
Andøya – Europe’s launch site for small satellites?
Another Norwegian speaker at this year’s conference is Sandra Blindheim at Andøya Space Center. She will be presenting a new concept for the launch of small satellites from Andøya Space Center in Northern Norway.
- Andøya Space Center’s talk will be very exciting, because they’re aiming at becoming the first European dedicated launch site for small satellites to polar orbit, Oftedal says.
An image of how a new launch pad at Andøya Space Center might look like.
Thus, Oftedal hopes that Andøya Space Center’s presentation and stand at the Norwegian pavilion will increase the interest both home and abroad in using Andøya as a European launch site. Europe currently has no launch site for satellites.
-The market for small satellites is large and growing rapidly, and Andøya Space Center has both the competence and infrastructure necessary to become the first launch site in Europe, says Oftedal.
Other Norwegian presentations at the IAC will focus on satellite navigation, as well as the polar regions and space.
- I believe the Norwegian pavilion will prove to be useful for all our participants, and that we can do it again when the conference is held in another market important for the Norwegian space industry, Oftedal says.
The most important meeting place in the industry
Not only does the international astronautical congress see thousands of participants, but meetings are at held at all levels, from students to researchers, industry, and decision makers, all the way up to the executive leaders of the space organizations.
- Hence, the conference is regarded as the most important meeting place in the space industry, says Geir Hovmork, deputy director of the Norwegian Space Centre.
He is pleased with the Norwegian Space Centre’s support of the Norwegian pavilion at this year’s conference, and hopes that it will be useful for all the participants.
Illustration of NorSat-1 (in the background) and NorSat-2 in orbit above the Lofoten islands.
The conference is held by the International Astronautical Federation IAF which Norway joined in 1986. Hovmork has been a member of the board, and the committee which decides conference location. He is currently the executive secretary of the organization’s judicial group.
- The competition for hosting the conference is brisk and it is held all over the world, but because half of the IAF’s members are located in Europe, the conference is held more often here, Hovmork says.
In 2019 Washington D.C. will host the conference, and in 2020 Dubai.
- The Norwegian Space Centre fully supports Andøya Space Center’s ambitions of becoming the European launch site for small satellites, and we will assist the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in their future assessment of this, Hovmork concludes.
Eline Oftedal – CEO – Norwegian industry forum for space activities (NIFRO) – 92 20 69 54
Geir Hovmork – Deputy Director – Norwegian Space Centre – 22 51 18 13 / 901 42 457
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