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NORCE have operating permits for both RPAS (Drones) and manned aircraft issued by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority. This implies that NORCE has an approved flight organization with post holders and management systems required under Aviation Norwegian Law and operates in compliance with EASA regulation.

NORCE has its own research aircraft stationed in Tromsø. NORCE has also instrumented the Lufttransport Dornier aircraft stationed in Longyearbyen, as part of the SIOS-InfraNor project.

The research aircraft and infrastructure are available for use in collaborative research projects with other institutions.

What types of research can the aircraft be used for?


  • Sea - mapping of sea colour and algae blooms
  • Forestry and agriculture - precision agriculture (mapping needs for irrigation and fertilization), plant and forest diseases, measuring growth in forests, assessment of forests (biomass)
  • Emergency preparedness - flood, snow mapping, interaction with drones (eg search and rescue)
  • Reindeer husbandry - map vegetation and grazing conditions, map ice/ice layers in connection with reindeer migration or reindeer counting
  • Pods can be mounted on the wings (for sampling air/particles), radiation sensors, clouds (long-distance transport of carbon)

In addition to pure research assignments, the aircraft can be used to validate satellite data and to test instruments that are to be sent up with satellites. The aircraft can also test sensor technology that can be adapted to drones.

LN-UAV Vulcanair (Tromsø)

The Vulcanair aircraft, which is stationed in Tromsø, will operate as a research aircraft for NORCE and research partners. The aircraft will be available for use in different research projects both in and outside Norway. NORCE has specialists in measurement technology who will collaborate with researchers with domain knowledge on the right strategy for data collection. The aircraft will have room for 3-4 people and about 150 kg payload. Data can be collected and analyzed in real time, which allows for adjustments in the data collection procedures and efficient utlization of flight time.

Current payload includes:

  • Hyspex hyperspectral imaging with 32 degree field of view.
  • PhaseOne medium format RGB camera.
  • GNSS Applanix POS AV 510 navigation system.
  • 4G modem

The aircraft has a corporate flight license (non commercial). This means that the users of the aircraft's infrastructure must include NORCE as a partner in the research project.

Photo: Rune Rolvsjord / NORCE

LN-LYR Dornier (Svalbard)

The Lufttransport aircraft is the world's first passenger aircraft with high-resolution sensors and advanced communication equipment that is usually only found on board satellites. The aircraft is configured to obtain aerial photographs and hyperspectral remote sensing data in addition to the normal transport operation. The aircraft flies regular flights from Longyearbyen to Ny-Ålesund and Svea, as well as around 20 flights a year to Station Nord in Greenland.

Current payload includes:

  • Hyspex hyperspectral imaging with 32 degree field of view
  • PhaseOne medium format RGB camera
  • GNSS Applanix POS AV 410 navigation system
  • Radionor CRE2-179-UAV Broadband Radio (5.862 GHz)
  • Kongsberg Seatex AIS-300
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Contact persons

Andreas Tøllefsen

Senior Engineer - Tromsø

+47 918 61 923

Agnar Sivertsen

Senior Researcher - Tromsø

+47 918 38 463