Research Stations in Ny-Ålesund

Kings Bay AS owns and operates the village of Ny-Ålesund. Eleven institutions from ten countries around the world have established permanent research stations here, 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 the permanent institutions in Ny-Ålesund and their primary research focuses.

The Sverdrup StationThe Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) is based in the Sverdrup station. The Institute moved into the Sverdrup station in 1999, after having conducted research in Ny-Ålesund since 1968. Services of the NPI are offered to both Norwegian and foreign research institutions. The focal areas for the NPI Sverdrup station consists of maintenance of a number of long- and short term monitoring programmes, logistical services, and research facilities for visiting scientists. NPI also 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.

The Koldewey stationThe German Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI) has been operating the Koldewey station since 1991. 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 Rabot stationThe French Institut Paul Émile Victor (IPEV) is present in Ny-Ålesund at the Charles Rabot base (Rabot). 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. AWIPEV has a permanent staff of three persons in Ny-Ålesund.

The VLBI antennaThe Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA) has been permanently based in Ny-Ålesund since 1992, and operates the VLBI-antennae close to the airstrip. The antenna is a part of a global network of VLBI-antennas. Results from the measurements inform about the Earth's rotation speed, helps in definition of boundaries, and opens for prediction of earthquakes and tsunamies. Replacement of the antenna by two new antennas at Brandalspynten are under planning. Four persons are permanently based in Ny-Ålesund.

The NERC stationThe British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has since 1991 operated a station in Ny-Ålesund, on behalf of the NationalEnvironment Research Council (NERC). The station is normally open from April to September, and supports mostly earth and life sciences. The NERC station is closed during the winter months.

KingsBay Marine Laboratory (KBML) is owned and operated by Kings Bay AS. See more information on this web page.

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. there is no permanent manning of the station.

The Yellow River station

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. The station is not permanently manned, but has visiting scientists during large parts of the year.

The Dasan stationThe Korean Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) opened the DASAN station in Ny-Ålesund in 2002. Research activities focuses mainly on environmental research, glacial and periglacial geomorphology, hydrology and atmospheric chemistry. The station is not permanently manned.

The London housesThe 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 is closed during the winter.

Dirigibile ItaliaThe National Research Council of Italy (CNR) established their base in Ny-Ålesund named Dirigibile Italia in 1997. The station 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.

CCTAn 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.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 research at the station focuses on marine ecosystems, athmospheric sciences and pollution.