Space Norway restores redundancy of Svalbard ground stations


TAMPA, Fla. — Space Norway has restored communications on an undersea fiber optic cable it operates between its Svalbard satellite station and mainland Norway, which left the Arctic region without a backup connection after the failure of the 7 January.

A shunt failure has caused a loss of power to signal repeaters on one of the two cables that connect the Arctic region, state-owned Space Norway said on January 19.

“Through work around applying an alternative power supply to the damaged cable, redundancy was restored by the evening of January 18, 2022,” Space Norway infrastructure manager Dag Stølan said in a statement. Press.

“This minimizes the risk of operation until the final repair of the cable can be carried out probably within the February 2022 timeframe, depending on the availability of the cable vessel and the weather conditions required.”

KSAT, which is half-owned by Space Norway and uses the cables to connect 100 Svalbard ground stations, said customer services in the archipelago continued to operate as normal.

“The damaged segment has been stable in operations after data traffic was restored, which means redundancy to Svalbard is now available in standby mode,” KSAT communications manager Nina Soleng told SpaceNews in a statement. January 20 email.

Soleng said work was underway to identify the exact location of the power supply problem.

An underwater visual inspection involving a remotely operated vehicle is “planned for next week”, she said.

Maxar image taken January 18 showing damage caused by the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano to a nearby port. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

Meanwhile, satellite communications providers have been scrambling to restore connectivity in Tonga, after a January 15 volcanic eruption damaged international and domestic telecommunications cables that connect the country.

Speedcast said on January 21 that it had helped restore services for the South Pacific nation a few days after the disaster, including for the main banking services of the country.

Residents of Tonga were able to make their first international calls since the eruption using SES’s C-band capacity, SES said in a statement. separate announcement from January 21.

And Intelsat said it helped deploy emergency communications services to support humanitarian aid in Tonga and the archipelago.

SpaceX’s Elon Musk tweeted that he was seeking confirmation of the need to provide Tonga with terminals that can connect to its Starlink broadband network in low Earth orbit.

“It’s a difficult thing for us to do right now because we don’t have enough satellites with laser links and there are already [satellites in geostationary orbit] that serve the Tonga region,” Musk said.

“That’s why I’m asking for a clear confirmation.”

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