The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Børge Brende, visited July 8, 2015 Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) main ground station for satellite data reception and control, located at Longyearbyen Svalbard, Norway.
According to Kongsberg, the KSAT Svalbard station is the world’s largest ground station for satellite data reception and control. More than 35 large antenna installations are located at the station communicating with more than 80 satellites on a daily basis and performing 15.000 contacts per month.
Kongsberg explained that the information received at the station is used for meteorology services as well as climate and environmental monitoring. Furthermore, less than 20 minutes after a satellite has passed over the station, several services for marine situational monitoring like oil spill and ship detection are delivered.
Ice forecasting and ice berg detection are amongst the newest technologies added to its capacities, Kongsberg said, adding that KSAT is the only company in the world providing satellite control services from both the Arctic and Antarctica.
Børge Brende, Norwegian Foreign Minister, commented on the importance of earth observation technology and the potential it holds.
He said: “Monitoring ships, oil spills and other climate and environmental impacts are important tools for contingency planning, as well as a source for better understanding of the impact of global climate change.”
“Having ground stations on Svalbard in the Arctic, as well as in Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica, KSAT – and Norway – holds a unique position in offering satellite data services globally,” added Brende.
Rolf Skatteboe, President of KSAT, said: We’re honored and glad that the UN Secretary General and the Norwegian Foreign Minister visited us to see the work we do and experience the importance and vast opportunities satellite observation gives for environmental and climate monitoring.”
“Today KSAT are involved in UN operations through UNOSAT, an important resource for several UN projects and operations worldwide.”