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Bernice Notenboom and The 2 Degrees Expedition at Svalbard Ground Station

This week Bernice Notenboom, Dutch climate journalist, adventurer and polar explorer, together with Dutch national television, 2 degress film crew and partners of the Two degrees North Pole expedition visited KSAT at the Svalbard Ground Station.

On this journey Bernice has brought with her the CEO´s and management of the 22 companies partnering in the 2 degrees project on a sailship (name)  to Kongsfjord and Ny-Ålesund to see the dramatic changes in nature and wildlife and to understand from Arctic scientists why a two degree commitment is imperative. A second group started their trip this week. The partners are key players in energy, mobility, waste management, real estate, consulting and sustainable investments, and the visit to KSAT Svalbard satellite station concluded their expedition. At the Ground Station, Manager Ole Petter Storstad and Marketing Director Nina Soleng could show the strategic importance of this particular satellite station at 78´North, being able to download and distribute data from an impressive portfolio of satellites, and in a matter of minutes provide important information to end users all over the world. Also giving insight as to all the different areas satellite data is being used to operatinally monitor the enviroment. Mark Drinkwater, head of Mission Science Division at European Space Agency (ESA), accompanied the groups and could explain to the partners how KSAT´s role was crucial for getting the updated ice information to Bernice and her team as they were heading to the North Pole.  As a core ground segment provider to the Sentinels, KSAT downloads data from Sentinel-1 on that very antenna and building in which the visit took place. From this Sentinel data, the team at ESA produced updated ice charts that was used for planning and making adjustments to the route.  From time to time during the visit, the antenna would start to move and track as the Sentinel satellite was passing over the pole, creating a lot of enthusiasm within the Group.   The Two Degrees North Pole Expeditition also supported arctic science by plotting snow measurements for ESA and NASA on their way from 88° to 90° North. A three part television series is being produced for broadcast in November.

Station Manager Ole Petter Storstad gives the group a crash course on satellite physics inside the antenna radome.  Inside the Radome Bernice Notenboom and Ann Daniels at the Nort Pole (2 Degrees)