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SFI-Sentre for forskn.drevet innov

Centre for Space Sensors and Systems (CENSSS)

Alternative title: Senter for romfartsensorer og -systemer (CENSSS)

Awarded: NOK 82.0 mill.

«New-Space» technology based on commercially available equipment, together with reduced launch costs has led to an increase in the small satellite segment. The satellites are used to provide new services within navigation, observation and communications. There is also a renewed interest in space exploration with a planned moon base in 2028, and further of other planets. CENSSS addresses the scientific and technological challenges and business areas of small satellites for earth observation and exploration of the moon and planets. CENSSS cooperates with Norwegian industry to develop new instruments and sensor systems, integration of satellite systems, operation, and exploitation of satellite data. CENSSS develops new sensors for earth observation satellites, and instruments for mapping space resources. One goal of CENSSS is to model, design, build, integrate, launch, operate and exploit a fully Norwegian New-Space EO satellite. CENSSS operates the ground penetrating radar RIMFAX on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Much effort is put into developing tools for operating Rimfax, and tools for processing of RIMFAX data. RIMFAX data is on a regular basis delivered to NASA Planetary Data System, holding the archive for all instrument data on Perseverance. The core activity of the Centre shall support at least 10 PhD candidates (30 PhD years) and 15 researcher-years, providing innovative research, development and engineering results as well as providing high-quality candidates for Norwegian space companies and the government sector. CENSSS shall be a national research team and a hub for collaboration and synergies between SMEs, academia and prominent research organizations, stimulating competitiveness and innovation capabilities in Norway within the space sector.

The New-Space concept, with large numbers of dedicated small and low-cost satellites, is expected to provide opportunities for small nations to acquire their own space capabilities and services, tailored to own needs. And there is a renewed emphasize in the exploration of space, with a planned establishing of a manned base on the moon by 2028 and the further exploration of other planets. CENSSS will address science and technology challenges and business opportunities within New-Space satellites for Earth Observation and within Space Exploration “to the Moon and Mars”. The research areas underpinning these business innovation areas will be sensor and sensor systems, and New-Space satellites system integration, operation and exploitation. CENSSS shall advance the knowledge frontiers in terms of novel sensors for small Earth Observation satellites, as well as novel sensors for planetary resource mapping and exploitation. CENSSS will take an active part in NASA`s Mars 2020 rover mission. The core activity of the Centre shall support at least 10 PhD candidates (30 PhD years) and 15 researcher-years, providing innovative research, development and engineering results as well as providing high-quality candidates for Norwegian space companies and the government sector. CENSSS shall be a national research team and a hub for collaboration and synergies between SMEs, academia and prominent research organizations, stimulating competitiveness and innovation capabilities in Norway within the space sector. The centre will build upon more than 60 years of upper atmosphere space science and technology activities originating from Kjeller, Norway, including upper atmosphere research from Andøya, the recent development and operation of the AISSat / NorSat satellites and the Norwegian georadar RIMFAX that will be on board the NASA Rover Mars 2020.

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SFI-Sentre for forskn.drevet innov