Published: 10. November 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

Norwegian- Canadian rocket cooperation

Andøya Rocket Range and The University of Oslo has initiated a Norwegian- Canadian rocket cooperation intended for college and university students. The cooperation will result in student exchanges between Norway and Canada and includes rocket launches from Andøya.

Both Norway and Canada find studies of the upper atmosphere in the northern light zone and polar region essential for climate and environmental studies. These studies provide practical and relevant information in the topics space weather and GPS navigation.

10-year programme

CaNoRock (Canada-Norway Student Rocket Programme) are now being planned as a bilateral student exchange/ rocket programme which stretches over a period of 10 years. During this programme, which has been initiated by Andøya Rocket Range (ARR) and the University of Oslo (UiO), one rocket is to be launched from Andøya every year thus resulting in student exercises.

The payloads for these rockets are to be built by students and scientists from the two participating countries. Simultaneously the students can choose among relevant courses in the fields of physics and technology at the universities involved.

Today CaNoRock is being developed by an international group consisting of representatives from the universities in Alberta, Calgary, Saskatchewan, UiO and ARR. The project has raised a big interest both in Canada and Norway and we may have to extend the number of participants for the next group meeting, which is to be held in Edmonton in February next year, to include NTNU from Trondheim (Norway), NAMMO from Raufoss (Norway) and also new Canadian institutions and universities.

Science and technology in focus

It is going to be student programme based on science, an important contribution to “The High North Commitment” when it comes to innovation, development of knowledge and recruiting to the knowledge-based industry in the region. The start of the CaNoRock is simultaneously to the increased intensity of sunspot cycle 24 and gives increased chances for sun storms and thus breakdowns of navigation and communication systems under the flaring northern lights. It is becoming a greater challenge to ensure safe systems as the polar ocean opens for economical exploitation.

The interest for the project has been overwhelming in both countries. Worth to mention is the fact that the universities in Alberta and Calgary both had 50 applications for 4 available student spaces in Canada to the upcoming student rocket from Andøya in November.

Great demand

For the third year in a row UiO offers student rocket in cooperation with the University of Tromsø (UiT) and NAROM (Norwegian Centre for Space- related Education). “The project has been a great success and the students are lining up to participate in the ongoing rocket and satellite development at the UiO” says Professor Jøran Moen. From having just a handful of students for this kind of projects the tide has changed dramatically to a record high demand from motivated students who want a future in the field of space technology.

The upcoming CaNoRock- incident on Andøya in week 46, is a foretaste of the real 10-year programme which will be initiated in the late fall of 2010 at the earliest. The project receives economical support from the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education, as one of its aims is to increase the student exchanges between Norway, Canada and North America. A potential final CaNoRock contract will involve both the Norwegian and the Canadian Space Centres in addition to The Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway on the financial side.


Mr Kolbjørn Blix Dahle, Head of Marketing Department, Andøya Rocket Range
Phone: (+47) 76 14 45 42

Published: 26. October 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

Talks Between Japan and Norway

Andoya Rocket Range, Norwegian Space Center and Norwegian scientists visited Japan recently to talk about future research projects.

Japan and Norway signed a Letter of Intent in 2007 with the aim to increase the use of sounding rockets in atmospheric studies, and two important projects have been conducted since then:

  • The Norwegian sounding rocket ICI-2 launched in 2008 with japanese guest instruments onboard
  • The Japanese Delta-2 sounding rocket launched from Andøya in 2009

The bilateral conference talked about future missions such as Delta-3 and ICI-3, and the fact that scientists now are seeing a closer connection between traditional meteorology and middle and upper atmosphere research.

– Meteorologists depend more and more on data from the upper atmosphere to produce more accurate long term forecasts for the weather, says professor Patrick Espy from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Space Weather

The scientists also wants to gear up the activity around the expected solar maximum in 2012/2013. Space weather effects is also important to understand for the new European satellite navigation project, Galileo.

Norway is heavily involved with Galileo, and part of the ICI-project is to investigate how space weather processes influence the satellite navigation signals. The Japanese Delta-3 is planned for launch in 2012/2013.


Mr Kolbjørn Dahle, Head of Marketing Dept, ARR.

Published: 25. September 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ANSAT workshop 23rd – 24th November 2009

The annual ANSAT workshop where held at Andøya Rocket Range on november 23. – 24 2009. Both students from HiNCube at Narvik University College and from CubeSTAR in Oslo participated.

The main focus for this workshop was attitude determination and control, but other relevant topics was also covered for status and information exchange between the current two student satellite projects in Norway.

Published: 13. August 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

NTSC 2009 Sounding Rocket Launched Successfully

At approx. 12:33 LT, in between heavy rain showers the Nordic Teacher Space Camp 2009 sounding rocket was launched successfully from Andøya Rocket Range.

After 4 days of physics lectures, rocket building and assembly the Nordic Teacher Space Camp students could see their work blast off successfully, reaching an altitude of about 9 km.

After having produced initial “quick look data” for the post flight meeting, the students are now facing the job of doing real analysis on their acquired data set.

Published: 10. August 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

The new MST radar at Andøya, Norway

MST-radar. Photo: Kolbjørn Dahle, ARR.

The Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Kühlungsborn, Germany (IAP) is installing a new powerful VHF radar on the North-Norwegian island Andøya (69.30°N, 16.04°E) in 2009. The new radar replaces the existing ALWIN radar which has been operated continuously on Andøya for more than 10 years.

The goal of the new system is the investigation of horizontal structures of Polar Mesosphere Summer Echoes (PMSE) caused by mesospheric ice clouds. Three-dimensional structures of the wind field and turbulent parameters determined from the radar data will be used to compare the detected PMSE distribution in detail with wind and turbulence variations caused by wave activity.

The new ALWIN radar is a monostatic radar with an active phased array antenna. Its operational frequency is 53.5 MHz and the maximum peak power is approximately 800 kW. The system is composed of an active phased array antenna designed by IAP consisting of 433 Yagi antennas and an identical number of transceiver modules. The radar hardware is designed and manufactured by Genesis Software Pty Ltd.

The nearly circular array with a diameter of approximately 90 m corresponding to an aperture of ~6300m2 results in a very symmetric antenna radiation pattern with a half power beam width of 3.6°, a directive gain of 33.5 dBi and an almost symmetric first side lobe with more than 17 dB suppression with respect to the main lobe.

The new ALWIN radar will start with a 16-channel data acquisition system with 25 meter sampling resolution and 16-bit digitization specified which will be upgraded to 64 channels in the final stage.

The high flexibility of the new system allows classical Doppler beam swinging as well as experiments with simultaneously formed multiple beams and the use of modern interferometric applications for improved studies of the Arctic atmosphere from the troposphere up to the lower thermosphere with high spatiotemporal resolution.

The installation of the antenna array will be finished in the first week of August 2009. The radar control and data acquisition hardware as well as 145 transceiver modules will be installed in September 2009. The initial expansion stage will use an antenna beam with a beam width comparable to the old ALWIN system but with symmetrical side lobes and free beam steering capability. The second expansion stage is scheduled for spring 2010 with the goal to observe the upcoming PMSE season with full power.

Published: 10. August 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

Nordic Teacher Space Camp 2009

Nordic Teacher Space Camp 2009 (NTSC) was officially opened at Andøya Rakettskytefelt this morning by a member of the Norwegian Storting – Tor Arne Strøm. This year the NTSC includes 24 teachers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The Nordic Teacher Space Camp is a summer course where physics, science, math and technology is put in to real world applications. The course culminates with the launch of a student sounding rocket built by the teachers.

During this mornings opening session the students were welcomed by the Director of NAROM – Arne Hjalmar Hansen, Managing Director of Andøya Rocket Range – Odd Roger Enoksen, followed by Einar Lid from the Union of Education Norway and finally officially opened by Tor Arne Strøm, member of the Norwegian Storting as a representative from the Nordland county.

Published: 8. August 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ESC 2009 – rocket launched successfully!

Space Camp Launch. Photo: Kolbjørn Dahle, ARR

At approx. 11:27 LT the students attending the European Space Camp (ESC) 2009 could watch their work over the last days fly off into the skies above Andøya.

On a perfect summery day, gathered outside the main buildings at Andøya Rocket Range the students could see their first sounding rocket fly off into the blue skies and finally drop down into the “Booster Bay” a short time later. All instruments worked as intended and the apogee was close to 10 km

Now they will start analyzing the recorded data and make initial presentations during the upcoming post flight meeting.

Published: 30. July 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

European Space Camp 2009

Official opening of the camp. Photo: Kolbjørn Dahle, ARR.

This morning, at 09:00 the Mayor of the municipality of Andøy, Jonni Solsvik officially opened the European Space Camp 2009 at Andøya Rocket Range.

The European Space Camp (ESC) is a week-long summer camp for young scientists (17-20 years old) at Andøya Rocket Range in Northern Norway. Organised by the Norwegian Association of Young Scientists and the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education (NAROM), in cooperation with the Norwegian Space Centre and the European Space Agency (ESA).

European Space Camp 2009 includes 24 students from 7 countries. For the first time in the history of ESC the organizers managed to get 50-50 boys and girls, and this was clearly mentioned during the opening ceremony outside the rocket range facility this morning.

The preferred background for the participants are: Youths 17-20 years old and students at a high school or secondary school with emphasis on mathematics and physics. Some of Norway´s, and even Europe´s, best scientists give lectures, and the participants also work in groups with hands-on activities and calculations. The subjects dealt with on Space Camp varies from the Northern Lights to rockets, satellite communication in space as well as astronaut traning. In addition, the participants will experience the exciting feeling of a real campaign, accomplished by relating the group work directly to the final rocket launch on Monday morning, next week.

Published: 1. July 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

SORA Launched

The Italian balloon SORA was launched from Svalbard July 1st under perfect conditions.

The Norwegian – Italian team arrived at Svalbard at the end of May to prepare for the launch of the 800,000 cubic meter balloon.

The SORA mission is testing a new “SOunding RAdar” destined to explore the planet Mars, and carries along three additional experiments: Duster, a tool to catch interplanetary dust in the terrestrial troposphere, a prototype accelerometer for the ESA mission Bepi Colombo that will study the planet Mercury, and finally a sensor for gamma ray studies (SIDERALE).

SORA launched July 1st, 00:08 UT and the mission is expected to last about three days after which it will land on Greenland.

– This is a major milestone for the Nobile Amundsen Stratospheric Ballon Center (NASBC), as it is the largest balloon we´ve released so far, says Mr Kjell Bøen, the Head of Sounding Rocket and Balloon Division at ARR.

– The smooth operation is a tribute to the team, lead by Campaign Manager Steven Peterzen from ISTAR.

Mr Peterzen and Dr Silvia Masi from University of Rome, La Sapienza, have been key persons in the development of NASBC, contributing over several years with their expertise.

After landing on Greenland, the payload will be recovered and brought back to Italy. At the time of writing SORA is established at a float altitude of 39.6 km, which it reached at around four O´clock this morning, universal time.

The Nobile Amundsen Stratospheric Balloon Center is a joint project between Andøya Rocket Range and the Italian Space Agency.

More Information

Mr Kjell Bøen, Head of Sounding Rocket and Balloon Division, ARR.

Published: 21. April 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ESA Educational Resource Office Officially Opened

The Norwegian European Space Education Resource Office was officially opened today by the Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communication, Liv Signe Navarsete.

In 2008 ESA invited Norway to establish the first ESA office in Norway. The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) office is meant to support the education community with information, materials and activities geared towards science, engineering and space exploration.

A delegation from ESA and Norwegian Space Center attended the opening ceremony at Andøya Rocket Range where the ESERO office is located.

– We are very excited and proud to be able to open the first ESA office in Norway, says Mr Jøran Antonsen, acting director of NAROM.

The long-term goal of the ESERO office is to increase interest for science and technology, and inspire the next generation to pursue such careers.

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