Inmarsat plans to introduce two new satellite payloads dedicated to the Arctic region, in collaboration with Space Norway and its subsidiary Space Norway HEOSAT. The new Global Xpress (GX) payloads will support the increasing demand for reliable mobile broadband services in the Arctic and throughout the world.
The Norwegian Government announced an agreement with the state-owned company Space Norway to address the unstable broadband communication in the High North using satellites. The satellites are scheduled to be launched in 2022.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for potential incidents involving oil and hazardous materials in U.S. Arctic waters through the U.S. Coast Guard. Its aim is to ensure access to early and on-going information about the nature and magnitude of spills to help with effective cleanup.
The US Coast Guard Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Program, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, launched two 6U CubeSats from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on December 3. CubeSats aim to evaluate the effectiveness of space sensors to support Arctic search and rescue missions.
NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite launched from California earlier in September, embarking on its mission to measure the ice of Earth’s frozen reaches ‘with unprecedented accuracy’. With this mission, NASA seeks to explore remote polar regions in a bid to understand ice changes on Earth.
The Norwegian Government informed that it wants Norwegian satellites to make broadband communications available in the Arctic. This aims to help shipping, defence, fisheries or research in the area. Norway will pledge to Space Norway AS about NOK 1 billion in equity capital for the project.
The satellite Ulloriaq was launched into space on 2 February 2018 and will orbit around the Arctic approximately 540 km above the Earth to test the ability of the satellite to take pictures and catch signals from ships and aircrafts, among other tasks. The project will last until 2020, when it will be more clear whether this can contribute to this project by the Danish Armed Forces.
NASA and the Norwegian Mapping Authority joined forces, in order to develop a satellite laser ranging station, 650 miles from the North Pole that will produce high-precision locations of orbiting satellites, help track changes in the ice sheets and improve the efficiency of marine transportation.
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