Research Stations in Ny-Ålesund

Kings Bay AS owns and manages Ny-Ålesund research village. Eleven institutions from ten countries around the world have established research stations here, three of which are permanently manned. In addition, several more institutions and nations come regularly to Ny-Ålesund to carry out research field activities.


The Sverdrup Station

The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) occupies the Sverdrup station. The current station was built in 1999 but NPI has been carrying out research in Ny-Ålesund since 1968. NPI offers its services to all Norwegian institutions. It also hosts projects from countries that do not have own facility in Ny-Ålesund. Sverdrup station maintains instruments for long- and short term monitoring programmes, offers logistical services, and research facilities to visiting scientists.

Photo: Hans Ole Sandring

NPI owns the building of the Zeppelin Research Station on the Zeppelin Mountain, a couple of kilometers south of the settlement. NILU is responsible for the scientific activities at the Zeppelin station. Currently the Sverdrup station has a permanent staff of five persons.

AWIPEV (Germany & France)

The Koldewey station

The 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 sciences since the inauguration of the base in 1999. IPEV also runs the Jean Corbel station (Corbel) located about five kilometres south-east of Ny-Ålesund. Corbel runs on green energy and it serves as a "clean" station for atmospheric science to complement measurements 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.

NMA (Norway)

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.

NERC (Great Britain)

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.

NIPR-Rabben (Japan)

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.

CAA - Yellow River station (China)

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.

KOPRI - Dasan Station (South Korea)

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.

UiG (the Netherlands)

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.

CNR - Dirigibile Italia (Italy)

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.

NCAOR - Himadri (India)


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.

Kings Bay Marine Laboratory (KBML)

KingsBay Marine Laboratory (KBML) is owned and operated by Kings Bay AS. More information available on its web page.

CNR - Climate Change Tower
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.Investigations of the atmospheric boundary layer stand in focus, but the tower is also open to scientists working in other fields.