COLORADO SPRINGS — State-owned company Space Norway is in negotiations for a two-satellite arctic broadband system that would have military and civil applications, a Norwegian Ministry of Defence official said April 10.
Stig Nilsson, a colonel in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence’s Department for Defence Policy and Long Term Planning, said the satellite system, known as the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM), should be under construction by June, following a downselect among competing manufacturers.
“Our requirement has always been clear that we need to have satcom in the north,” Nilsson said during a panel at the 35th Space Symposium here. “It’s just a manner of finding the right way to achieve it. We think this is the quickest and most realistic way of doing it.”
Nilsson said the Norwegian MoD concluded that a pure military satellite would be too expensive an undertaking for the country, whose population numbers about 5.3 million in an area slightly larger than New Mexico. To keep costs low, the ASBM constellation will carry military payloads for the U.S. Defense Department and the Norwegian MoD, and commercial capacity for Space Norway, he said.
In an interview, Nilsson said those three partners are finalizing the ...