A new Arctic is of emerging. Activities in the region are intensifying, including a growing volume of shipping, increasing energy and mineral extraction and an increasing military presence. The new Arctic is in need of more efficient infrastructure, for example in telecommunications. In a new FOI report by Niklas Granholm, security policy analyst and Christer Andersson, , describes and analyses the strategic developments in the Arctic as well as the emerging technological opportunities and challenges in the field of space.
“We have combined our analysis of the rapidly changing strategic picture with that of current developments in technology. Satellite-based infrastructure for communications or monitoring, developed within the framework of international cooperation, should contribute to security and confidence-building measures, both in the civil sphere and with regard to military security,” says Niklas Granholm.
The need for satellite systems in the Arctic has increased. At the same time developments in space technology have undergone radical changes. Today it is possible to produce smaller and less costly customised satellite systems with increased performance. The study’s assessment is that these new satellite systemswill be used by more countries across the Arctic region.
“The weight of such systems has been reduced while performance has improved and costs have fallen. Lead times have also been considerably shortened”, says Christer Andersson.
The report describes three generic design concepts for such satellite systems and shows how Sweden, through initiatives in the space sector, could contribute constructively to the work of increasing safety and security in the Arctic region.
“Our hope is that the conceptual proposals that we outline here can form the basis for further in-depth technical and strategic studies – with the added benefit of international cooperation,” says Niklas Granholm.
“We hope that continuing work on this study can form the lead-in to still closer cooperation between the research community and government authorities in the field of space,” adds Christer Andersson.