Kings Bay AS owns and operates the village of Ny-Ålesund as an international research base for a wide range of studies in natural sciences. Eleven institutions from ten countries around the world have established research stations in the settlement, three of which are permanently manned. In addition a number of institutions and nations come to Ny-Ålesund to perform research on a more or less regular basis. This page gives an overview of these institutions and their primary research focuses, and links to their respective homepages. These will open in a new window.
The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) is based in the Sverdrup station since 1999. The NPI serve a function as research base and as scientific coordination point for research in the village, and services of the NPI are offered to both Norwegian and foreign research institutions. The focal areas for the NPI Sverdrup station consists of operation and maintenance of equipment for a large and wide array of scientific projects, maintenance of a number of long- and short term monitoring programmes, broad spectered logistical services, and research facilities for visiting scientists. In addition the NPI hosts projects that are not affiliated to another station or institution in Ny-Ålesund. The NPI also owns the station at the Zeppelin mountain, a couple of kilometers south of the settlement. See NILU for more information about the Zeppelin station. Currently the Sverdrup station has a permanent staff of five persons, of which two station leaders alternate.
The German Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI) has been operating the Koldewey station since 1991. Research facilities for a wide range of diciplines are offered, and an increasing number of scientists visit the station and Ny-Ålesund annually. The AWI focuses on biology, chemistry, geology and atmospheric physics, and is able to provide bedrooms, office space and a living room at the base. In addition the AWI operates the NDACC-Observatory which is used for studies of physics and chemistry of the troposphere and stratosphere.
The French Institut Paul Émile Victor (IPEV) is present in Ny-Ålesund at the Charles Rabot base (Rabot). The base consists of a number of bedrooms, offices and laboratories of good scientific standard. The IPEV have been particularly focusing on atmospheric science and life science since the inauguration of the base in 1999. About five kilometres south-east of the settlement the IPEV also runs the Jean Corbel station (Corbel). This base is designated to become a "clean" station for atmospheric science to complement activities at the Zeppelin mountain (NPI/NILU).
Since 2003 the AWI and the IPEV have merged their operations, logistics and administration of activities in Ny-Ålesund under the name AWIPEV. Sharing of installations and station personnel forms the base of the new organisation, and allows for more coordinated research activities to find place at the base. AWIPEV has a permanent staff of three persons in Ny-Ålesund.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA) has been permanently based in Ny-Ålesund since 1992, and operates one of the most prominent installations in the settlement, the radiotelescope close to the airstrip. The antenna allows for precise estimations about Ny-Ålesund's relative position on the Earth, and uses stable quasars as signal transmitters. Results from these measurements inform about the Earth's rotation speed, helps in definition of boundaries, and opens for prediction of earthquakes and tsunamies. Normally the NMA runs a few weekly experiments that are coordinated with a number of similar stations around the globe. The NMA's geodetic division operates the antenna, while NASA has been financing it. At present four persons are permanently based in Ny-Ålesund, of which three are simultaneously at the base.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has since 1991 operated a station in Ny-Ålesund, on behalf of the National Environment Research Council (NERC). The station is normally open from April to September, and supports mostly earth and life sciences. Visiting scientists have access to boat transport as well as a good field laboratory with facilities for processing samples and data. One person manages the station from spring until fall. The NERC station is closed during the winter months.
The Kings Bay Marine Laboratory (KBML) is owned and operated by Kings Bay AS. Information opens in a new window.
The National Institute for Polar Research (NIPR) from Japan has been permanently established in Ny-Ålesund since 1990. The main focus for the NIPR is Arctic environment, with studies of atmosphere physics, terrestrial biology, oceanography, glaciology and meteorology. Japanese scientists visit Ny-Ålesund throughout the year, but there's no permanent manning of the station.
The Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA) inaugurated the Yellow River Station in 2004. Since then activities have been increasing within a wide range of science with research on meteorology, space-Earth measurements, glaciology, marine ecosystems and Arctic environment. An observation platform is established on the roof of the station, and there are laboratories, offices and storage available for researchers. The station is not permanently manned, but has visiting scientists during large parts of the year.
The Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) opened the DASAN station in Ny-Ålesund in 2002. Research activities have been increasing since, and focuses mainly on environmental research, glacial and periglacial geomorphology, hydrology and atmospheric chemistry. To support scientists, the DASAN station provides laboratory space with some equipment, glacier and boating equipment, and office space. The station is not permanently manned.
The Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen (UiG) in the Netherlands established a field station in Ny-Ålesund in 1995. UiG promotes multi diciplinary research that covers a wide range of science, but has also a strong focus on ecology, notably the ecology of the barnacle goose. These studies have been continued since 1990. The station has a staff of three to four people during the summer months, and is closed during the winter.
The National Research Council of Italy (CNR) established their base in Ny-Ålesund named Dirigibile Italia in 1997. The station has laboratories and offices to support the CNR's studies on climatic changes. Research focuses much on environmental and climatic studies of ice and marine sediments, and research on interaction mechanisms among atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere. The Dirigibile Italia station is not permanently manned at the moment.
An important addition to the infrastructure in Ny-Ålesund is the Amundsen-Nobile Climate Change Tower, which was inaugurated on April 30, 2009. The initiative to construct the tower came from the CNR, which also administers the science program for the tower. Kings Bay AS has been responsible for the construction and installation. Investigations of the atmospheric boundary layer stand in focus, but the tower is also open to scientists working in other fields.
The National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research, NCAOR (India) officially opened their Himadri station in Ny-Ålesund on July 1st 2008. The NCAOR has been negotiating with Kings Bay AS to establish their own permanent station in Ny-Ålesund since 2007, and sent their first expedition during 2007. Since then the activity level at the station have been on the increase, and new expeditions arrive regularly.