Space Newsfeed

Global MilSatCom 2018

NorSat-3 ordered by Norwegian Space Centre, satellite under construction at SFL

(10 January 2018 - Space Flight Laboratory) The Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) announced today that NorSat-3, a 15-kilogram microsatellite, has been ordered by the Norwegian Space Centre, and that construction is well underway. NorSat-3 follows from the highly successful NorSat-1 and NorSat-2 satellites also built by SFL.

norsat 1

NorSat-3 concept. (courtesy: Space Flight Laboratory)

NorSat-3 will carry an experimental navigation radar detector to augment ship detection capabilities from its Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver. NorSat-3 will add another satellite to Norway’s assets in space – four in total so far, all producing data related to maritime traffic monitoring. Combining a navigation radar detector and AIS receiver will potentially provide much better maritime awareness for the Norwegian Coastal Administration, Armed Forces and other maritime authorities.

The satellite is funded by the Norwegian Coastal Administration and managed by the Norwegian Space Centre. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) is leading the development of the radar detector payload which is funded by the Ministry of Defence. NorSat-3 is a civilian satellite designed to capture signals from civilian navigation radar.

Automatic Identification System (AIS) message reception alone may not provide a complete picture of maritime traffic. The problem of missing or manipulated AIS messages can only be addressed through the use of supplemental sensing technology. In the case of NorSat-3, a navigation radar detector provides some supplemental support for more accurate ship detection and identification. Detections of navigation radar from ships will provide the ability to verify the accuracy of received AIS messages and also the ability to detect ships whose AIS messages have not been received.

NorSat-3 represents another barrier breaking, paradigm shifting advance in smaller satellites using SFL’s Next-generation Earth Monitoring and Observation (NEMO) platform.

About Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)

SFL builds big performance into smaller, lower cost satellites. Small satellites built by SFL consistently push the performance envelope and disrupt the traditional cost paradigm. Satellites are built with advanced power systems, stringent attitude control and high-volume data capacity that are striking relative to the budget. SFL arranges launches globally and maintains a mission control center accessing ground stations worldwide. The pioneering and barrier breaking work of SFL is a key enabler to tomorrow’s cost aggressive satellite constellations.