Category: Defence

  • Developing IRSA, a monitoring service for the Arctic

    Integrated Remote Sensing for the Arctic (IRSA) is an international collaboration working on developing a system for situational awareness in the Arctic. IRSA will combine data from satellites, high and medium altitude long endurance drones, autonomous sea vessels and more.

    – Andøya Space is a part of IRSA together with the companies C-Core in Canada, My Defence System Integration in Denmark and Boeing in the US, says Tony Klæboe at Andøya Space Defence.

    IRSA’s long-term goal is to offer services for monitoring various types of human activities and environmental factors in the northern regions, to civilian as well as military customers.

    – Both public and private actors want a clearer situational image of what is going on in the Arctic, not only concerning human activities such as air and ship traffic, land use and development, but also environmental factors such as pollution, animal migrations, sea ice extent, temperature measurements and more, and for search and rescue, Klæboe says.

    Andøya Space’s aircraft for research and testing

    For testing methods and procedures for IRSA, Andøya Space Defense runs the ArcticX exercises.

    – Here we use Andøya Space’s own aircraft, a Diamond DA62 MPP twin-engine propeller aircraft especially designed for research and technology testing, says Klæboe.

    Andøya Space also uses this aircraft to monitor the areas on and around the island that are closed for public access during launches and missile tests.

    Andøya Space offers flights for research and technology testing with this plane to customers.

    – During ArcticX, we use the aircraft to simulate a drone taking pictures from the air. We practice on, among other things, outlining missions for the drone before take-off and giving it new tasks mid-flight based on satellite images of places and situations we want to take a closer look at, Klæboe says.

    Combining satellite monitoring with planes and drones

    Satellites can monitor large and remote areas quickly and frequently and are thus well suited for obtaining a good overview fast.

    – Airplanes and drones monitor smaller areas but can examine them more closely. Thus, we practice combining the use of satellite data with surveillance from aircraft and drones, says Klæboe.

    During ArcticX Andøya Space Defense has tested, among other things, how quickly the aircraft can get on its wings and find ships that satellite data show have switched off their AIS system.

    The AIS signals reveals a ship’s identity, position, direction and speed, and all ships above 300 gross tons are required to carry this system.

    – Depending on the distance to the ship, the weather and other conditions, we can have the plane in the air in just a few hours, Klæboe says.

    A fruitful collaboration for the future

    In 2024 Andøya Space Defence will run ArcticX from the 17th to the 20th June.

    – We’re doing the exercise in the summer because that’s the time of year when we have the most daylight and the best weather, says Klæboe.

    Tony Klæboe, Andøya Space Defence

    In 2024 the exercise will include subsea vessels to test monitoring of, among other things, underwater pipe lines and cables.

    – IRSA is a fruitful collaboration for Andøya Space and has great potential to lead to services that will be very beneficial to offer our customers, Klæboe concludes.

    More information

    Please contact Andøya Space Defence for questions regarding our services.

  • An airborne platform for research and testing

    Andøya Space has its own airplane with pilots and mission specialists for performing flights for scientific research, technology demonstration, maritime surveillance, search and rescue, and other types of missions, for both civilian and military customers.

    – Our aircraft is a Diamond DA62 MPP (Multi-Purpose Platform) twin-engine propeller plane. It can accommodate four people on board, two pilots for flying the aircraft and two mission specialists who operate the equipment and instruments used for the research or testing, says Dag Helge Karlsen at Andøya Space.

    He is one of the two pilots of Andøya Space’s aircraft and has led the work to get in place the documentation and procedures necessary for offering flights to customers.

    A plane designed for research and testing

    The Diamond DA62 MPP plane is 9 meters long and has a wing span of 14.5 meters.

    – We have a nominal max flight time of up to five hours, depending on factors such as the number of people on board, the type and weight of the equipment, how much fuel is needed and more, Karlsen says.

    This particular type of airplane has been designed from the ground up to function as an aviation platform for scientific research and technology testing.

    For example, the nose cone can contain camera, radar or other types of sensors. The plane also has room for various kinds of instruments and sensors behind special pods on the outside of the plane.

    – Moreover, the plane is cost effective because it requires relatively little fuel compared to other planes of a similar size, Karlsen adds.

    Used for in-house missions

    Andøya Space purchased the plane in 2021, and until now it has been used mainly for in-house missions.

    – For example, before customers of Andøya Space Defence test their missiles, we use the plane to surveil and monitor the test area from the air, to make certain that there are no land vehicles or maritime vessels around, says Karlsen.

    For such missions, the on board camera is used, in addition to maps of maritime traffic updated in real time.

    – If we discover any vessels in the test range, we identify them so that they can be contacted by radio and notified about the activities that are planned in the area, Karlsen says.

    Flies all year round

    Andøya Space has a customer for the flight services already, which they will perform missions for several times a year.

    – We offer direct services to several different types of customers. According to their needs we can mount a variety of equipment, sensors, antennae, and other instruments on our plane, says Karlsen.

    Moreover, Andøya Space offers flights all year round, and can perform campaigns lasting days or weeks as needed.

    – We have the greatest number of flights in the spring, summer and autumn, but we also fly during the winter, Karlsen says.

    Three pilots in all

    Currently, Andøya Space has two pilots working with the plane, and another will be added to the team shortly.

    In addition, Andøya Space has four mission specialists that can operate the test instruments during the flights.

    – Andøya Space is a specialized operations organization (SPO) that can offer a variety of commercial aviation services, Karlsen finishes.

    More information

    Please contact Andøya Space Defence for questions regarding our services.

  • Unique drone testing

    The past weeks, drones have been tested on a large scale outside of Andøya. The test range is quite unique in a European context.

    Over the last weeks, Andøya Space Defence has for the first time tested new drone technology on a large scale outside of Andøya. Andøya Space Defence offers pilots, facilities, simulator and more to test different types of drones for various customers.

    – This is quite unique in a European context, says Odd Arne Andreassen at Andøya Space Defence. – We can set up an almost unlimited test area, where the drones can fly and try out everything they need to.

    Unlike other activities at Andøya Space, drone testing does not require maritime areas to be closed for traffic. Vessels may be present in the area where the drone flight is taking place. Andøya Space has procedures and systems to ensure that a required and safe distance is kept.

    – Setting up a test area of for example 100.000 square kilometers is no problem for us, Andreassen adds.

    Jet-powered drones from Airbus

    This week, twin-engine high-speed jet-powered drones from Airbus Target Systems & Services were tested at Andøya Space. These drones are approximately three meters long, with a wingspan of two and a half meters, and can fly at up to 250 meters per second.

    – The drones simulate different types of aircraft, which the customer’s radars and air defense systems must detect and defend themselves against, says Andreassen.

    By equipping the drones with different transmitters and radar reflectors, the drones can look like almost any kind of aircraft to the radars.

    – In addition to the almost unlimited size of the test area, the main advantage of testing drones at Andøya Space is the flexibility and cooperative spirit in which we conduct the complex flight test, underlines Frank Härtel, director of Airbus Target Systems & Services.

    Additional flight permit not needed

    Andøya Space has permission from Norwegian aviation authorities to fly drones of the “Specific” class in Norway, also on behalf of customers.

    – This means that we are responsible for the flights and their compliance with Norwegian aviation regulations. Thus, the customer does not need to obtain permission to fly in Norwegian airspace themselves, says Andreassen.

    The new drones were tested with different types of engines and instruments at Andøya Space, to check that everything works as it should in the air.

    – The drones already function well, but Airbus wanted to test the latest improvements they have made on the drones, Andreassen says.

    – We brought a full set of test items with us, from new drone types, to new digital functions and new ground operation setups. We were able to test everything successfully, Härtel says.

    Testing drones extensively

    Around 20 employees from Andøya Space were involved in the testing, and about the same number of people from Airbus.

    – Each test flight only lasts an hour or so, but requires many hours of preparation first, says Andreassen.

    The equipment to be tested must be mounted on the drones, and the pilots perform the entire flight in a simulator first. The test area must also be closed to air traffic. This is done by air traffic control at Andøya Airport. Other preparations are also done.

    – When we only have an hour to fly, everyone must know exactly what to do and when, says Andreassen.

    More drone tests throughout the winter

    More drone tests will be carried out for Airbus at Andøya Space during the autumn and winter.

    Andøya Space tests drones both for military and civilian use, for many different types of customers. In addition, Andøya Space trains personnel in drone operations, and has the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain certification from Norwegian aviation authorities to operate most types of drones in Norwegian airspace. In collaboration with Andøy videregående skole, upper secondary education in drones is also offered.

    More information

    Contact Andøya Space Defence.

  • Unik dronetesting

    De siste ukene har droner blitt testet i stor skala utenfor Andøya. Testfasilitetene er unike i europeisk sammenheng.

    De siste ukene har Andøya Space Defence for første gang testet ny droneteknologi i stor skala. Andøya Space Defence har piloter, fasiliteter, simulator og mer for å teste ulike typer droner for kunder.

    – Dette er helt unikt i europeisk sammenheng, sier Odd Arne Andreassen ved Andøya Space Defence. – Utenfor Andøya har vi et nesten ubegrenset stort og åpent testområde, der dronene kan fly og prøve ut det de skal.

    I motsetning til andre aktiviteter ved Andøya Space, krever ikke dronetesting avsperring av havområder for å gjennomføre flygningene. Fartøy kan fortsatt oppholde seg i området der flygningen pågår. Andøya Space har prosedyrer og systemer som sørger for å holde påkrevd avstand til disse.

    – Å sette opp et testområde på 100 000 kvadratkilometer er ikke noe problem her, legger Andreassen til.

    Jetdrevne droner fra Airbus

    Denne måneden er det tomotors hurtiggående jetdrevne droner fra Airbus Target Systems & Services som har blitt testet ved Andøya Space. Disse dronene er omtrent tre meter lange, med et vingespenn på to og en halv meter, og kan fly i opptil 250 meter per sekund.

    – Dronene simulerer ulike typer fly som kundens radarer og luftvernsystemer så skal oppdage og forsvare seg mot, sier Andreassen.

    Ved å utstyre dronene med forskjellige typer sendere og radarreflektorer, kan en radar oppfatte dronen som nesten alle typer fly, både militære og sivile.

    – Hovedfordelen ved å teste hos Andøya Space er fleksibiliteten og samarbeidsånden her, i tillegg til den nesten ubegrensete størrelsen på testområdet. Alt dette gjør at vi kan utføre kompliserte tester av dronene våre, sier Frank Härtel, direktør for Airbus Target Systems & Services.

    Trenger ikke egen flytillatelse

    Andøya Space har tillatelse fra norske luftfartsmyndigheter til å fly droner i klasse «Specific» i Norge, også på vegne av kunder.

    – Det vil si at vi er ansvarlige for disse flygningene og at de overholder norske regler. Dermed trenger ikke kunden å selv skaffe tillatelse til å fly i norsk luftrom, sier Andreassen.

    De nye dronene ble testet med ulike typer motorer og instrumenter hos Andøya Space, for å se at alt virker som det skal i luften.

    – Dronene fungerer allerede bra, men Airbus ønsket å teste de aller siste forbedringene de har gjort på dronene, sier Andreassen.

    – Denne gang hadde vi med oss et helt sett av nye ting som skulle testes. Det spente fra nye dronetyper, til nye digitale funksjoner, til nytt oppsett for operasjoner på bakken. Vi klarte å teste alt sammen med suksess, sier Härtel.

    Omfattende tester

    Under testingen av de nye dronene var cirka 20 ansatte fra Andøya Space involvert, og omtrent like mange fra Airbus.

    – Selve testflygningen varer bare en time av gangen, men hver flygning krever mange timer forberedelser, sier Andreassen.

    Utstyret som skal testes må monteres på dronene, pilotene utfører flygningen først i simulator, og testområdet må sperres av for lufttrafikk. Sistnevnte gjøres av tårnet ved Andøya lufthavn. Personell fra Andøya Space og kunden gjør også andre forberedelser før flygningen.

    – Når vi bare har en time på oss for å fly, må alle vite nøyaktig hva de skal gjøre når, sier Andreassen.

    Mer dronetesting utover vinteren

    I løpet av høsten og vinteren skal en rekke droner fra Airbus testes på Andøya.

    Andøya Space tester droner både for militær og sivil bruk. Andøya Space lærer også opp personell i droneoperasjoner, og har den nødvendige kunnskapen for å få gjennomført sertifisering fra norske luftfartsmyndigheter til å operere de fleste typer droner i norsk luftrom. I samarbeid med Andøy videregående skole tilbys også i Vg2 Dronefag til elever på videregående.

    Mer informasjon

    Kontakt Andøya Space Defence.

  • Cooperation agreement signed between Airbus and Andøya Space Defence

    Andøya Space Defence has signed a cooperation agreement with Airbus Defence and Space for live firing training support of Air Defenders: Army, Navy and Air Forces.

    Representatives from Andøya Space Defence and Airbus signing cooperation agreement
    Andøya Space Defence and Airbus signing cooperation agreement

    Airbus Direct Target UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) will be the choice for live firing training at the unique range of Andøya in North Norway.

    The ground support infrastructure for the Airbus Target System will be integrated in Andøya and its personnel will have the capability to operate the Airbus target drones on their own or together with Airbus resources.

    – Combining the unique capabilities of Airbus and Andøya, a turnkey solution is now available. This cooperation represents a higher capability for Air Defence training, based on our innovative Direct Target UAV platform. The cooperation is a role model for the support of the worldwide Air Defence Forces, says Frank Härtel, Head of Airbus Target Systems and Services.

    – As a part of the continuous development of the range services, Andøya Space Defence has been searching for a partner to support and provide the Aerial Target Systems. Our experience over the last years is that Airbus is an ideal partner for our expansion of the services. This cooperation will greatly improve our capabilities, says Gunnar Jan Olsen, President of Andøya Space Defence.

    Airbus Defence and Space Target Services

    The Target Systems and Services department of Airbus Defence and Space provides realistic support for Air Defenders in live firing exercises. For more than 22 years Direct Aerial Target drones are produced and the cost-effective service of realistic air threat is provided in training scenarios.

    Andøya Space Defence

    Andøya Space Defence is a versatile Test Range used for a variety of missions. Andøya Space Defence is the only advanced Test and Training Range in Norway for advanced testing and is in many respects unique in Nordic waters. The range is used on a regular basis for large exercises with multinational defence task forces.

    More information

    Please contact Gunnar Jan Olsen, President of Andøya Space Defence.

  • Tester VTOL-drone på Svalbard

    Andøya Space og Kystvakten reiser i disse dager til Svalbard for å gjennomføre en praktisk test av avanserte droner i arktiske farvann.

    VTOL er en engelsk forkortelse for «Vertical Take-off and Landing» og er en betegnelse på luftfartøy som kan lette og lande som et helikopter. Fordelen er at de blir så mobile at de relativt enkelt kan benyttes fra skip.

    – VTOL-droner er fysisk mindre enn bemannede helikoptre, men slipper unna strenge krav om hviletid for mannskapet, siden de er ubemannede, sier Børje Edvardsen som er prosjektleder for prosjektet «VTOL UAS in Arktis 2030». – De kan også fly under forhold hvor man vegrer seg for å sende ut helikoptre med folk om bord. Målet med å bruke slike droner er ikke å erstatte helikoptre, men å supplere og styrke beredskapen ved søk og redning i våre enorme havområder.

    Bilde av VTOL-drone

    Andøy kommune er oppdragsgiver for prosjektet, som allerede har gjennomført de første testene fra Kystvaktskip i Andfjorden.

    – Vi ser at det ligger et stort potensial i slike droner, sier Jonni Helge Solsvik, representant for Andøy kommune. – Fiskeri er en stor næring for Andøy og vi ønsker å styrke Norges evne til å gjennomføre søk og redning i norske farvann, samt være i front på generell havovervåkning.

    – Dronene har mange bruksområder som for eksempel miljøovervåkning, søk- og redning, kartlegging av fauna, toll- og fiskerioppsyn. Andøy kommune ønsker å legge til rette for utvikling av nye kapasiteter som kan styrke beredskapen i nord, sier Solsvik.

    Mannskapene som reiser opp til Svalbard skal gjennomføre tokt fra KV Nordkapp.

    Bilde av VTOL-drone ombord på skipet det skal fly ut fra

    – Vi ønsker å vise gevinstene og mulighetene ved å bruke avanserte droner i Arktis, sier Edvardsen. – Prosjektet skal demonstrere nye konsepter og bruksområder ved hjelp av avansert sensorteknologi om bord i dronen.

    Prosjektet er muliggjort gjennom «Arktis 2030», en tilskuddsordning fra Utenriksdepartementet som har som mål å ivareta norske interesser i nordområdene. Andre deltakere er Andøya Space, Kystvakten, Kystverket, Hovedredningssentralen og Nord Universitet.

    Den konkrete dronen som skal testes på Svalbard er en Schiebel S-100, produsert i Østerrike. Med en rekkevidde på 180 kilometer og topphastighet på over 200 kilometer i timen er den godt egnet for den krevende oppgaven.

    – Dronen S-100 kan holde seg i lufta i seks timer på én tank og kan bære med seg flere typer sensorer og nyttelaster, sier Edvardsen. – Dronetypen har vært på Andøya flere ganger allerede og vi er godt kjent med hvilken kapasitet den representerer.

    Mer informasjon

    Kontakt Andøya Space Defence.

  • New names: Andøya Space Education and Andøya Space Defence

    To clarify who we are and what we do, we are renaming the subsidiaries NAROM and Andøya Test Center (ATC). The new names Andøya Space Education and Andøya Space Defence highlights their areas of expertise and their connection to the Andøya Space brand.

    Andøya Space Education

    Andøya Space Education represents the educational part of Andøya Space. Thousands of people are every year inspired by the educational programs we offer, and our visitor center attracts both space-interested pupils as well as tourists.

    Formerly known as NAROM, Andøya Space Education was established twenty years ago to increase recruitment to science, technology and Norwegian space activities. Although the name has been changed, we will continue as a national center to inspire and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers with mandate and funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

    Andøya Space Defence

    In 1997 a test center was established in connection to the sounding rocket launch site at Andøya. The area surrounding the island, and the already established technical infrastructure, enables Andøya Space Defence to perform complex tests of weapon systems.

    Andøya Space Defence will continue to offer a state-of-the-art civilian test range for military capabilities.

    The brand

    Andøya Space is leading in its field both when it comes to testing, drones, sounding rockets and space-related education. Our logo is a stamp of quality, and we will continue to deliver quality services within technology, testing and knowledge in many years to come.

    Mer informasjon

    Kontakt Andøya Space.

  • Boeing, Andøya Space Partner to Expand Norwegian, NATO Testing

    Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the Andøya Space are forming a new partnership that will support Norway’s plan to become a leading autonomous aircraft test center and establish the first dedicated spaceport for launching satellites in Europe.

    The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) aims to expand the capability of the Andøya Space to conduct complex testing and experimentation for the Norwegian Armed Forces and NATO. The agreement will also expand the capability of the Andøya Space to provide affordable medium-launch services to new government and commercial customers throughout Europe.

    – This partnership will help Norwegian industry advance indigenous capabilities to accelerate growth in autonomous aerial systems and space launches, said Maria Laine, Boeing vice president of International Strategic Partnerships. – The scale, scope and strategic value of our collaboration opportunities, like this one with the Andøya Space, reinforces our strategic partnership with Norway and demonstrates our commitment to keeping the promises we make.

    Located on the island of Andoya in northern Norway, 300 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, the Andoya Space is well suited for arctic testing of advanced technological systems, launched from air, sea or land. First established nearly 60 years ago, the test center is equipped with the latest of telemetry and tracking systems.

    Under the new agreement with Boeing, the test center will be expanded through the acquisition of new test bed aircraft and deployment of the Integrated Remote Sensing for the Arctic (IRSA) network. The network includes an embedded command and control system provided as a technical transfer from Boeing. The IRSA network will connect the Andoya Space to dedicated test sites in countries across the Arctic.

    – To partner with Boeing with a special focus on advanced testing and autonomous aerial systems is a major step towards our strategic goals. This agreement will greatly improve our capabilities through the acquisition of aerial platforms for test and development activities, said Gunnar Jan Olsen, CEO of Andøya Space Defence, subsidiary of Andøya Space.

    The new agreement with Andøya Space will support Boeing’s tailored industrial participation plan related to the acquisition of five P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft by the Norwegian Armed Forces in 2017.

    About Boeing

    For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit
    Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense and @BoeingSpace.

    About Andøya Space

    Andøya Space is a limited company, owned 90% by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry and Fisheries and 10% by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. For more information, visit


    Steve Lott
    Boeing Communications
    Office: +1 703-465-3885
    Mobile: +1 202-285-9590

    Gunnar Jan Olsen
    Andoya Space Defence
    Office: +47 76 14 44 00
    Mobile: +47 930 51680