Nanosatellites for military communications | Polarjournal
Luxembourg-based OQ Technology used two GomSpace satellites launched in 2018 to test software for future transmission security. (Photo: GomSpace)

Radio communications in the high North have long been an issue for the Norwegian Armed Forces. A new research project is to test so-called nanosatellites to solve the problem. The current satellite systems provide limited coverage in the high North. The aim is to obtain a new Norwegian system that is fully developed and tested in just two years. , said chief researcher Lars Erling Bréten of the Norwegian Defence Research Institute (FFI) in a press release.

FFI selects GomSpace for the construction of a military communications satellite, which is a new design. (Photo: GomSpace)

Last week, the Norwegian Defence Research Institute (FFI) signed a contract with GomSpace to develop and supply a nanosatellite. The contract is worth 1.8 million Euro.

The launch of a test satellite is scheduled for October 2021. It will have a low polar orbit and will serve as a relay station for military communication. The test satellite will fly over northern Norway up to 15 times a day.

“We are thrilled to be involved in this project with FFI, which will leverage the full range of GomSpacecapabilities. It is important not only to deliver the platform, but also to be deeply involved in the development of payload, launch and early operation, and we will support mission operations,” said Niels Buus, CEO of GomSpace.

The CEO of GomSpace with a nanosatellite. (Photo: GomSpace)

The primary mission objective is to demonstrate the military use and relevance of an Arctic satellite relay for tactical communications radios from a low-earth orbit (LEO).

Another objective is to prove that GomSpace is ready to operate within 2 years of the start of the project and less than 18 months after signing this contract. The launch is scheduled for October 2021.

“To carry out this fast lane project is an important objective of the project, with the long-term goal of establishing an operational system that can provide this type of SATCOM capability in the Arctic region,” says Lars Erling Bréten, Principal Scientist at the FFI.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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