Sfera Technologies partners with NorthBase to expand ground segment coverage above Arctic Circle
Setting up a ground station in high-latitude geographic areas — in the extreme north or south of our planet — presents unique challenges, but also has significant benefits. This is why our strategic partnership with NorthBase is a major step forward in our journey to transform data delivery.
The intricacies of high-latitude stations
Ground stations placed in high-latitude areas — that is, beyond the 60th parallel either north or south — are not like other stations. Polar areas have a rough climate and a scarcity of infrastructure. Any communications equipment placed there needs additional protection against the elements, and requires greater overhead in power supply and connectivity.
But there is a very good reason to place a ground station close to the poles — due to the specifics of polar and near-polar orbiting satellites, high-latitude stations translate into more, and better, contact opportunities. This is the reason why some of the most remote regions in the world host ground station sites.
Scope of partnership
NorthBase is a Finnish ground station operator. The company’s primary S/X-band ground station, NorthBase-2, is a 3.9 m Safran Legion dish antenna positioned outside of Muonio, 68½ degrees North in Finnish Lapland, well above the Arctic Circle. Installed in 2022, NorthBase-2 packs some of the best communications equipment currently on the market, ensuring the capability to support a broad array of satellite missions.
As part of the partnership, the ground station will be integrated with Sfera Technologies’ HomePort ground station network. This will significantly improve the system’s capability to service Earth Observation satellites, many of which are in polar/sun-synchronous orbits (SSO).
Zdravko Dimitrov, Sfera Technologies founder & CEO, said of the collaboration: “NorthBase’s ground station will provide a significant expansion of our downlinking capabilities. This is the first high-latitude facility in our network, and for me it’s a great pleasure to begin this partnership with team NorthBase.”
“We are glad to be of service”, replies NorthBase founder and chairman Dr. Tech. Tommi Rasila. “Northern location is indeed the key benefit of our station. Combine that with the solid infrastructure and interference-free environment and you have an unbeatable combination at the service of the HomePort users”.
About Sfera Technologies
Sfera Technologies is a Bulgaria-based company building a streamlined system for Earth Observation data. The company’s primary product, HomePort, consists of data tasking capabilities with an integrated ground station network operating within a single cloud-based platform. Sfera’s ultimate mission is to build the infrastructures that will make space universally and easily accessible for everyone.
NorthBase was founded in 2019 to develop and operate satellite ground stations in Finland. Company is in 100% Finnish ownership with headquarters in Tampere, serving earth-orbit satellite operators globally. Finland offers a superb environment for satellite ground stations with its northern location, good infrastructure and stable operating environment.