Norwegian Mapping Authority (Kartverket) operating the Geodetic Earth Observatory in Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard
Norwegian Mapping Authority (Kartverket) is operating the Geodetic Earth Observatory in Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard
The Norwegian Mapping Authority (Kartverket) is operating the Geodetic Earth Observatory in Svalbard is home to the northernmost facility of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy & Astrometry (IVS) observing program. This observatory, which is part of a global network of research stations, plays a crucial role in measuring the Earth’s rotation speed, monitoring continental movement, and aiding in the prediction of earthquakes and tsunamis.
Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), a geometric technique, the observatory measures the time difference between the arrival of a radio wavefront emitted by a distant quasar at two Earth-based antennas.
Located at 79° N in the northwestern region of Spitsbergen (Svalbard), Ny-Ålesund serves as the hub for international Arctic scientific research and environmental monitoring. It is renowned as the world’s northernmost settlement. Initially established in 1917 as a coal mining settlement, Ny-Ålesund underwent a transformation in the 1960s when coal mining ceased and the town was repurposed as a research settlement.
Presently, the settlement accommodates 16 research stations operated by scientists from 10 different countries: China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom. These countries have established permanent research infrastructure within the settlement, contributing to a vibrant scientific community in Ny-Ålesund.