EIDEL signs an agreement with Space Norway

Eidsvoll Electronics AS (EIDEL) signed an agreement with Space Norway on 25 August 2022 to develop an encryption system which will be part of and include payloads to a new radar satellite system for maritime surveillance in Norwegian areas of interest. The satellite system is called MicroSAR.

Bakground: Satellite-based AIS (Automatic Identification System) has for many years been used to maritime surveillance in Norwegian waters. A challenge related to AIS is that the ships can switch off this function, or send misleading position data. Satellites with radar such as MicroSAR will be able to detect ships both with or without AIS, and will also be able to verify whether AIS data from the ships are correct.

MicroSAR – Illustration Space Norway

Primarily, the system will cover Norwegian societal and government needs, but will also deliver ocean surveillance services in a global commercial market on a par with similar satellite systems today. The system has particular relevance for maritime surveillance, including monitoring of ship traffic, combating illegal fishing, sea rescue and monitoring of oil spills. The payloads on board the satellites will be developed and built by Norwegian suppliers, while the satellite itself will be built by the British supplier Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). The first satellite is planned to be launched in early 2025.

From left: CEO WideNorth Helge Fanebust, CEO Oxford Space Systems Sean Sutcliffe, CEO Eidsvoll Electronics Truls O. Andersen, CEO Space Norway Jostein Rønneberg, Acting Research Director FFI Connie E. Solberg, CEO Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Phil Brownnett, CEO Kongsberg Satellite Services Rolf Skatteboe.

In the following years, additional satellites will be acquired and launched to establish a constellation of radar satellites. MicroSAR is tailored and unique for ocean surveillance in the sense that it can detect relatively small vessels in a very large area at the same time. There are currently no satellite systems with similar characteristics. For more information, see the press release on Space Norway’s own website, link below.

Press release: Space Norway builds radar satellite system for real-time maritime surveillance | Space Norway