Svalbard Satellite Station
(SvalSat) was established in 1997 as a ground station to provide support to operators of polar orbiting satellites. SvalSat is recognized, not only as the northernmost, but also the best-located ground station in the world. The extreme northern location on the Svalbard archipelago, at 78º13' N, gives SvalSat its unique and favourable position. The satellite coverage at this latitude holds unique opportunities and SvalSat is the only commercial ground station in the world able to provide all-orbit-support (14 of 14 orbits) to owners and operators of polar orbiting satellites.


Today SvalSat comprises a highly modern station building and six multi-mission antenna systems are installed. The antenna infrastructure comprises three operational 11-meter and one 13-meter S- and X-band systems. One 11-meter and the 13-meter antenna are Datron systems and the other 11-meter antennas are a ViaSat system. The antennas at SvalSat are today applied both for TT&C (Telemetry, Tracking & Command) and for data reception. In addition several minor antenna systems are operated at SvalSat.

SvalSat, is growing. The number of antennas in increasing in a steady past, and today there are more 15 apertures at the site. The 6 large apertures (10 – 13 m in diameter), the 3 medium size apertures (7,3m in diameter) as well as a number of smaller antennas (3 – 5 m) is making the site the largest ground station for polar orbiting satellites.

The site layout is optimized to maintain the best horizon profile and a minimized distance between the antennas and the main telemetry building. Important equipment may be located in Antenna equipment Rooms (AER) or at the main telemetry hall (MTR). Data and commands is sent to and received from the user through the fiber optical cable and communication satellites.

SvalSat operates together with the Tromsø Ground Station and antenna resources and scheduling is coordinated over the entire Union Space Center ground network that consists of 5 sites and more than 35 antennas.

Human resources

A staff of fifty engineers and technical personel operates SvalSat in shifts, with round-the-clock operations. Most of the antenna systems available at SvalSat are operated locally from SvalSat. However, most of the systems are suitables to be operated remotely using USCNet.


  • A group of East Asian Federation scientifics visiting SvalSat