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Spectacular drone footage from Svalsat, the KSAT Svalbard Ground Station

We seized the opportunity after the sun-return-day March 8th to capture these drone images showing the scale of the world´s largest ground station, currently consisting of over 150 antennas.

After a long winter with 4 months of darkness the sun has finally returned to Svalbard.

The Svalbard Ground Station is recognized as the best-located and largest polar ground station in the world. Its unique location at 78’North – almost at the North Pole – ensures complete coverage that provides access to every orbit for spacecrafts operating in sun-synchronous orbits and is an important station for global weather data.

The station is situated on a mountain close to Longyearbyen, a small town of around 2000 people with an airport, university, concert hall, church, hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops.

At 78´North the sun is below the horizon for 4 months in winter. The period from mid-November to January is called the polar night. On 8 March, the first solar rays of the year reach Longyearbyen and the winter sunsets around this time are beautiful.

45 dedicated people have their daily work at the Svalsat station, and the station manager since 2019 is Maja-Stina Ekstedt, voted one of Norway´s top tech women in 2022. 

KSAT wants to make a positive difference for the environment and the community we operate in. We are currently exploring ways to use renewable energy to power parts of the Svalbard station. Together with a local energy company, we are installing solar panels on the antenna foundations, as a step towards green energy solutions.

The Svalbard station is part of our global ground network consisting of 26 selected locations around the world. The network in total handled 1 million passes last year and is continuously being developed to meet new customer demand.