On July 14, 2017, the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) successfully launched two Norwegian microsatellites developed and built by SFL for the Norwegian Space Centre with support from the Norwegian Coastal Authority, Space Norway and the European Space Agency. Shortly after launch, both satellites were contacted from ground stations in Norway, and commissioning is underway.
The first satellite, NORsat-1, carries a state-of-the-art Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver to acquire messages from maritime vessels, a set of Langmuir probes to study space plasma characteristics, and a Compact Lightweight Absolute Radiometer to measure total solar irradiation and variations over time. The payloads were provided by Kongsberg Seatex, the University of Oslo and the Physikalisch-Meterologisches Observatorium Davos World Radiation Center.
The second satellite, NORsat-2, also carries an AIS receiver as well as a VHF Data Exchange (VDE) payload that will enable higher-bandwidth two-way communication with ships. Both payloads were provided by Kongsberg Seatex. NORsat-2 will be the first satellite to provide VDE services to Norway.