by Dina Brode-Roger
On Saturday, May 25, the Svalbard Satellite Station (SvalSat) had an open day for local residents. The station, established in 1996 and located up on a plateau just above Longyearbyen, is usually closed to visitors. Kongsberg Satellite Services AS (known as KSAT) is the owner of the station and offered a bus service up to the plateau, drinks and snacks, as well as a tour of their main control building. The station, located at 78°N (approximately 1200 km north of the Arctic Circle) allows for optimal satellite coverage and data recuperation for polar orbiting satellites. The average time of passage above this high latitude can range from a few minutes to a quarter of an hour or so. The station is manned by a team of around 20 engineers and operators who must also clear snow and keep polar bear watch. The open day was a great success and many townspeople came out to see the installation and get to know SvalSat’s work better.
Photo Credit: @dinabroderoger