Published: 7. May 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ARR at the 4th French-Norwegian Space Forum

4th French-Norwegian Space Forum in Toulouse, France

Recently, Andøya Rocket Range participated in the 4th French-Norwegian Space Forum which was organized by GIFAS (French Aerospace Industries Association), CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) and NIFRO (Norwegian Industrial Forum for Space Activities).

The first day with presentations by companies from both countries was followed by a second day with B2B-meetings at IAS (Institut Aéronautique et Spatial).

France and Norway have good and long traditions for cooperation on space related activities. Not least within the framework of the European Space Agency, but certainly also on a bilateral basis. The purpose of this Space Forum  and the existing framework agreement is to provide an excellent base towards an even closer cooperation.

Published: 5. May 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ANSAT workshop May 2nd – May 4th 2010

The annual ANSAT workshop were held at Andøya Rocket Range where students from the University of Oslo and Narvik University College participated.

The focus of this workshop was the COMM and EPS subsystems. Wouter Weggelaar from ISIS added weight to this workshop, which also included an inspiring lecture on satellite communications in which retired Prof. Gunnar Stette from NTNU could draw from his vast experience in the field.

A successful link from both HiNCube and CUBESTAR communication subsystem and Andøya Ground Station where done.

Published: 4. May 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

Cansat Competition Won by Heimdal

Five high schools from Norway met at Andøya to participate in a national Cansat competition.

A Cansat is a small payload designed to fit inside the volume of a soda can. The winning team from the high school at Heimdal had GPS tracking as well as an instrument to measure the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The team also built a chassis from aluminium and plexiglass.

The price of 10,000 NOK from NAROM, Norwegian Space Centre and the Norwegian Centre for Science Education is to be used to by the high school to promote science related activities.

The next Cansat-competition from Andøya will take place in August when the European Space Agency invites participants from 12 nations to compete.

More at NAROM (Norwegian text only): Heimdal videregående vant nasjonal cansat-konkurranse

Published: 26. April 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

Drones ready to measure ash particles

UAS after take-off at Andøya Rocket Range. Photo: Kjell-Sture Johansen, Norut

Drones fitted with on board air particle sampling instruments can provide precise measurements of volcanic ash particle concentrations.

“We can have an ash particle sampler in the air in about two weeks,” says Norut Senior Research Scientist Rune Storvold.

The scientist is waiting for new particle sampling instruments, which are on their way north. The drones – or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) – are ready to take-off at short notice.

“Norut in collaboration with the Andøya Rocket Range has the infrastructure, competence and sensors ready to measure the properties of the volcanic ash clouds,” says Storvold.

Large range

The UAS developed at Norut Tromsø is today operated by Aranica. They are ready at the rocket range in Andøya and can make test sampling flights in early May.

The current UAS has a range of 500 km, while a new UAS is currently under development and later this year the range of the remote-controlled aircraft will be extended to 2000 km. This is equivalent to a return flight from Tromsø to Oslo.

“These drones can fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet, but we also have plans in collaboration with Robot Aviation for a new one that can fly at an altitude of 40,000 feet,” says Storvold. “This will cover the entire normal altitude for commercial air traffic. One of the new drones will be ready for flights with particle samplers in about 12 months.”

Measuring the ash cloud’s properties

The in-situ measurements will be able to assist today’s models with knowledge about the density, size, composition and horizontal and vertical distribution of the volcanic ash concentrations, as well as their lifespan in the atmosphere.

This knowledge can enhance the accuracy of the model’s concentrations. When the margins of uncertainty in the models drop, smaller areas of the air space will be closed and the duration of these closures will become shorter.

Today’s models are extremely good for calculating the extensiveness of the volcanic ash, but provide very uncertain information about the properties of the volcanic ash concentrations. Naturally enough, the quality of the data one gets from a model depends on the quality of the data one inputs in the model. This forces the authorities to put in large safety margins.

More precise knowledge about the volcanic ash particles will lead to huge financial savings by regular air traffic. It can also save lives by making air ambulances and rescue services more operative.

“This can be an area which will provide major social gains,” says Norut CEO Ivan C. Burkow.

Friendly drones

Norut has been working on the development of drones and sampling instruments since 2005. Many associate drones with acts of war, but we are referring here to “friendly drones”, which are used for environmental surveillance and civil preparedness and safety.

The drones can for instance be used to chart oil spills, for search and rescue work over ocean areas, measurements of glaciers and sea ice and measurements in the atmosphere.

Norut is participating in a research group that is already using the drones to measure the effect of soot in the atmosphere. The research group is currently developing a series of instruments for the drones, ranging from soot particle samplers to imaging radar. These projects are mostly financed by the Research Council of Norway.

These drones will not be grounded by ash as they can fly when no other aircraft should fly. The UAS is remote-controlled and can tolerate some ash dust and high levels of turbulence, and it is powered by an economical little petrol motor.


Senior Research Scientist Rune Storvold, Norut Tromsø

CEO Ivan C. Burkow, Norut

Published: 22. April 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

UAS Under Preparation to Measure Volcanic Ashes

Aranica has proposed to use unmanned aircraft equipped with instruments capable of measuring airborne particles to provide more accurate measurements of the ash clouds from the Icelandic volcano.

– We can have a system in the air in about two weeks, says Rune Storvold, a scientist working at Aranica-partner Norut.

– Norut and Andoya Rocket Range have both the infrastructure and the knowledge and the sensors to measure properties of ash clouds.

The current UAS – fleet have a range of 500 kilometers, but a new generation under development will have a range of 2,000 kilometers, which means that the planes can travel from Tromso to Oslo and back without refueling, covering most of Norway.

The unknown properties of the ash clouds forces the authorities to include huge safety margins when they decide wether or not to close the airspace. – While the larger airplanes are grounded, our UAS can take to the air and perform measurements, says managing director at Andoya Rocket Range, Odd Roger Enoksen.

– With the UAS airborne and by using the ALOMAR lidar observatory we can safely measure the amount of ashes.

– The combined efforts of Andoya Rocket Range and Norut may save the society for large sums of money, says Norut CEO, Ivan C. Burkow. It may also save life by making the air ambulance and rescue services more available.

Point of Contact

Gunnar Jan Olsen,
managing director, Aranica AS
Telephone: +47  93 05 16 80

Published: 20. April 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

National CanSat Competition

NAROM invites media to observe a national CanSat competition 25 – 29 April at Andoya Rocket Range. Teams from five Norwegian high schools have qualified for the event.

A CanSat is a small satellite designed to fit inside a 0.33 litre soda can. The satellite contains instruments, power supply and house keeping systems as you would find in a real satellite.

The CanSats will be launched to the skies inside a rocket, gets released and parachutes back to the ground. On their way down, the CanSats must transmitt data back to a ground station.

The challenge is to stay within the limitations regarding cost, time, weight and volume.

This is the second CanSat competition held at Andoya Rocket Range. A video from the first competition in 2009 can be seen here.


Torstein Wang, NAROM

Published: 18. April 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ARR participated in workshop at Canadian Space Agency

Plenum session at the last day of the workshop

Building academic capacity in the science and technology space sector is a priority of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), in particular through promoting the use of accessible and cost effective suborbital platforms and nano-satellites that can accommodate research and graduate student training. In this context, the CSA hosted a workshop on Suborbital Platforms and Nano-satellites on April 14, 15 and 16, 2010, at the John H. Chapman Space Centre in St-Hubert, Quebec.

ARR, the University of Oslo and NAROM is working together with three Canadian universities to form a 10 year, bilateral student sounding rocket program (CaNoRock) that includes student exchange in physics, electronics and engineering. Read more about CaNoRock.

Published: 8. April 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

New Web Profile

Published: 10. February 2010 by: Trond Abrahamsen

ANSAT @ Space Dinner 2010

On February 9th the ANSAT program where presented with a focus on the second satellite CUBESTAR in the ANSAT program.

Jøran Antonsen presented the Norwegain student satellite program, ANSAT and Phd Student Tore Andre Bekkeng presented the CUBESTAR and it’s scientific instrument, the multi-Needle Langmuir Probe.

NIFRO is the Norweigan forum for space industry, and Space Dinner 2010 gathered more than 100 participants from both industry and the government in Norway.

Published: 15. November 2009 by: Trond Abrahamsen

“CaNoRock 1” Successfully Launched Today

Students cheer as CaNoRock-1 launches from ARR.

The event was hosted by NAROM, Norwegian Center for Space-Related Education at Andøya Rocket Range, and judged by the preliminary results presented during the post-flight meeting the sounding rocket named “CaNoRock 1” was a success.

All instruments worked perfectly, including the small magnetometer made by David Miles from the University of Alberta and later added to the regular student rocket payload. David was one of the 4 students picked out to participate in this CaNoRock precurser.

The sounding rocket reached an altitude of about 9.4 km and gave everybody involved in the CaNoRock process a big boost forward! The next CaNoRock event is the February 2010 scientific workshop at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

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