New solar data downloaded in Norway

The Solar B satellite will shed light on the processes that take place in the outer atmosphere of the sun. It is scheduled for launch inh2006. Japan is behind the project, and Norwegian researchers and Norwegian industry have been commissioned to download and distribute the raw scientific data the satellite collects. The contract is valued at roughly MNOK 60.

This is one of the largest contracts ever awarded by ESA (the European Space Agency) to Norwegian industry and research.

The parties to the agreement are the European Space Agency and the Norwegian Space Centre. The work will be carried out by Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) and the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo.

KSAT uses its ground station on Svalbard, SvalSat, to download data because of its highly auspicious location. SvalSat is located so far north that it has a clear view of Solar B more times a day than any other ground station in the world.

SvalSat will receive data every time Solar B passes. This means researchers get more than twice as much scientific data than if downloading had been limited to Japan and the USA.