DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) and the Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) company, Norway, will collaborate even more closely in the future. On 10 February 2014 a corresponding memorandum of understanding was signed in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich.
This formalized cooperation between the two institutions is particularly intended to create synergies in the operation of their respective polar receiving stations. KSAT operates in Spitzbergen the largest and most northerly Arctic ground station facility worldwide for receiving earth observation data, the Svalbard Satellite Station (SvalSat). The DFD ground station in Inuvik, in the Canadian Arctic, can complement SvalSat.
Working together, the two stations gain access to a considerably increased reception area and additional options for satellite contact. This makes it possible to transfer larger amounts of data, to control the satellites more often, and to employ them with more flexibility.
During his visit to DFD Mr. Rolf Skatteboe, CEO of KSAT, stressed the many areas of activity common to both DFD and KSAT. Professor Stefan Dech, Director of DFD, added, “The possibilities and opportunities arising through cooperation with KSAT are very important for us and open up new prospects for both partners”.
The DFD and KSAT Antarctic ground stations are also to be jointly used during missions. DFD operates a ground station on the Antarctic Peninsula near Chile’s “General Bernado O’Higgins” station. KSAT’s “Troll” station is located on a Nunatak, an exposed rock breaching an ice sheet, in Queen Maud Land. The European facilities operated by KSAT in Tromsö and DFD in Neustrelitz will also expand their cooperation regarding operational and near real-time services in the context of the Copernicus Earth Observation program.