Arktis och rymden. Diskussion och analys av satellitsystem för det nya Arktis


  • Christer Andersson
  • Niklas Granholm

Publish date: 2014-04-15

Report number: FOI-R--3872--SE

Pages: 41

Written in: Swedish


  • Arctic
  • space
  • geostrategy
  • technology trends
  • security policy
  • satellite
  • confidence and security building measures.


The emerging new Arctic develops against a background of extensive global climate change. This is affecting Sweden's geostrategic position. The activities of the various actors and stakeholders, i.e. increased shipping and an increasing energy and mineral extraction, combined with overlapping territorial claims also affects the regional military strategic situation . The outcome of the rapid developments in the Arctic is difficult to predict but is likely to generate demand for increased transparency and improved monitoring. Simultaneously, the need for efficient infrastructure in the Arctic, for example telecommunications, will probably be high to guarantee a sustainable development of the arctic region. The developments in space technology during the last decade have radically improved capabilities to produce small customized satellite systems. Weight, complexity and cost of these satellites have decreased while technologies with collaborative and free-flying satellites have increased the capacity of the systems. Lead-times in development are also considerably lower. Our assessment is that these satellite systems increasingly will be developed and used by more countries around the Arctic due to decreased development costs and improvements in performance. The study "Arctic and Space" describes the geostrategic change in the Arctic and technological trends in the space field, and outline the opportunities and challenges this involves. Satellite-based infrastructure for communication or monitoring developed within an international context, could contribute to regional security and confidence building measures both in the civilian and military field. The study presents three generic design concepts for this type of satellite systems and show how Sweden with initiatives in the space sector could contribute constructively to the work in increasing safety and security in the emerging new Arctic. The study is to be seen as a first attempt at discussing strategic change in the Arctic in conjunction with developments in space technology. The study work has been undertaken as part of the FOI-initiated cross-disciplinary study - "A Changed Arctic".