The new pole-to-pole concept, with the TrollSat station in the Antarctic and SvalSat on Svalbard, will enable rapid downloading of environmental data from satellites orbiting over the poles.
“The TrollSat satellite station is a milestone in environmental monitoring by satellite,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg when he opened the TrollSat station in January.
TrollSat in the Antarctic is one of the satellite stations in the pole-to-pole system. Together with the SvalSat satellite station on Svalbard, it will provide quicker access to environmental data. Photo: KSAT, www.ksat.no.
Measurements and pictures taken from space will provide important data for the research projects being run during the International Polar Year 2007/2008, which include the mapping and monitoring of glaciers and the sea ice around the poles. In addition, the pole-to-pole system will be much quicker than any of its international competitors as regards the reporting of oil spills at sea and the transmission of environmental data and weather warnings.
“The TrollSat satellite station is a milestone in environmental monitoring by satellite,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg during the opening ceremony. Photo: KSAT, www.ksat.no.
International satellite cooperation
TrollSat will initially receive data from the Earth observation satellite Envisat, which is owned and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as from several NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) satellites.TrollSat is owned by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Satellite Services, and is operated in cooperation with the Norwegian research station Troll in Dronning Maud Land.
The polar regions are steadily moving up the global agenda. Norway is participating in research expeditions in both the Antarctic and Arctic. Photo: Will Steger Foundation.
A “bipolar nation”
Norway is only nation in the world with territorial claims and administrative responsibilities in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Around 99% of the Antarctic is covered in ice, and it is the coldest and driest continent on earth. Dronning Maud Land, named after Queen Maud (1869–1938), who was married to King Haakon VII, was claimed by Norway in 1939. It covers one-sixth of the Antarctic – an area seven times the size of Norway.
The Norwegian Prime Minister opening the new TrollSat satellite station in the Antarctic. Photo: KSAT, www.ksat.no.