Satellite operations began in 1978
A high latitude is of considerable importance when communicating with satellites in a polar orbit around the Earth. It was natural therefore to locate a ground station for this particular type of satellite at Esrange Space Center. In 1978 SSC took its first step into satellite operations, and today these operations have expanded considerably, with several satellite stations and parabolic antennas for communicating with orbiting satellites. This concerns control and operation of and data reception from remote sensing, scientific and telecommunications satellites.
In 1991 ESA (European Space Agency) set up its own satellite station 7 km from Esrange to receive data from the satellite ERS-1 (Earth Resource Satellite). The station is run by SSC, which manages operating and data reception from ERS-2 and ENVISAT, ESA’s (and the world’s) largest Earth observation and atmospheric research satellite. The station is also the main ground station for CryoSat-2 launched april 2010.
In 1999, SSC entered a partnership with the American company USN (Universal Space Network Inc.), forming a global network of satellite ground stations. The network, which goes under the name PrioraNet, has become a major asset in attracting new customers, above all for missions involving placing new satellites in the desired orbit. Once the contracts are signed, they are often extended for related routine tasks related both to operating and data reception throughout the satellite’s life. Since April 2009 USN is a subsidiary of SSC.
Since 2004 SSC has a subsidiary in Germany, LSE, which underpins the company’s position in satellite control and consulting missions in a number of technical areas within satellite operations.
In February 2008 SSC announced its signing of an agreement with the University of Chile in Santiago regarding the purchase of Centro de Estudios Espaciales (CEE). The Santiago Satellite Station station serves mainly the same customers through global ground station network, PrioraNet.