By Leif Morten Tangen and Michael Lindqvist
The Norwegian Mapping Authority, Kartverket, became a full member of CRAF in June, 2023. The observatory, operated by Kartverket, is located at Brandal laguna in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. It is an internationally established fundamental geodetic VLBI station, which includes two 13.2 m telescopes inaugurated 2018, with receivers covering the band 2-14 GHz. Once fully operational, they will be part of the world’s first core sites within the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS), co-locating the four space geodetic techniques: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Doppler Orbitography and Radiopositioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS). As such, the observatory will be a fundamental part of a network of stations which define the global geodetic reference frame, and will be crucial to realise GGOS’s ambitious goals of 1 mm accuracy and 0.1 mm/yr stability.
The Observatory has a special protection in Norwegian law for RFI, “Fribruksforskriften“. It states in § 1. “Local area of operation” that “The regulation does not apply to the use of frequencies in the 2 GHz-32 GHz range in the geographical area within a radius of 20 km from the center of Ny-Ålesund. The regulation nevertheless applies to frequency use in this area for mandatory maritime and aeronautical safety-related equipment on board vessels and aircraft.”