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Research & Initiatives

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  is onboard the NASA Rover Mars 2020.

Research at CENSSS is divided in five research fields

CENSSS Work Packages

New-Space Sensors

Sensors and sensor systems are central to the business areas of a National New-Space capabili- ty. The partners in CENSSS are already deeply involved with developing sensors for New- Space applications. The sensors are at different readiness level spanning from ideas to flight instruments.


CENSSS will increase the maturity level for the ideas and develop next generation instrumentation toward flight hardware.


New-Space Demonstrator

Several of CENSSS partners involved in WP2  ( e.g. FFI, KSAT, IDEAS, EIDEL, NEO, Jotne, Vake and S&T) are actively working on designing and developing payloads and are operating several small satellites orbiting the Earth.


CENSSS will, based on the most promising payload developed in WP 1 model, design, integrate, launch, operate and exploit a Norwegian built New Space satellite.



New-Space Services

The main objectives for this project is to use data from available satellites and from new satellites to develop new exploitation models, applications and services.

RIMFAX Science Operation Center

CENSSS will through this work package explore new modes for operating geophysical instru- ments on planetary rovers and use them to mapping resources on the Moon and on Mars. The tools developed will be trans- ferred to operating New-Space small satellites orbiting Earth.


Mapping Instruments for planetary In-situ Resource Utilisation

CENSSS will develop next generation planetary water mapping instrument. The in- strument will be a combination of some or all of the following techniques: Neu- tron detector, electromagnetic induction spectrometer (MIS), ground penetrating radar (GPR), optical spectrometer, and a gamma-ray spectrometer.


Centre Operations

This work Package is focused on the operational management of CENSSS; ensuring that statutes, decisions, and obligations are followed up. Organising Operations board, General Assemblies, Partner workshops and  the Executive board


Latest Publications

Ground penetrating radar observations of subsurface structures in the floor ofJezero crater, Mars

Publisher: Science Advances, 8(34), eabp8564, (2022)


Authors: Svein-Erik Hamran, David A. Paige, Abigail Allwood, Hans E. F. Amundsen, Tor Berger, Sverre Brovoll, Lynn Carter, Titus M. Casademont, Leif Damsgård, Henning Dypvik, Sigurd Eide, Alberto G. Fairén, Rebecca Ghent, Jack Kohler, Michael T. Mellon, Daniel C. Nunes, Dirk Plettemeier, Patrick Russell, Matt Siegler, Mats Jørgen Øyan.

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