NTNU SmallSat Lab

NTNU Small Satellite Lab

Overview of projects and activities

Overview of projects and activities

The SmallSat Lab team is part of a variety of projects, a selection listed below. The main effort is on our two satellites; HYPSO-1 (expected to launch 2021) and HYPSO-2 (expected to launch 2023) - which you can read more about by visiting hypso.space. Activities and research topics include spacecraft- and systems engineering in an university setting, development of hyperspectral camera systems, onboard processing including autonomy and AI, communication infrastructure for small satellites and other satellite autonomous sensor platforms.

Main project

Our current (2018-2023) main project is called Mission-oriented autonomous systems with small satellites for maritime sensing, surveilance and communication (MASSIVE). In this project we develop the mission, payloads and required ground infrastructure for our two first satellites; HYPSO-1 and HYPSO-2. You can read more about the HYPSO-project at hypso.space.

On HYPSO-1 we fly one payload consisting of a hyperspectral imager and one RGB imager. The goal is to observe ocean color and detect harmful algal blooms (HABs). Several of the other projects spin out from research on data processing and use of information from this payload.

HYPSO-2 will fly an upgraded version of the hyperspectral camera as well as a software-defined-radio (SDR) for communication purposes. The SDR will be used to continue a series of on-orbit interference measurements as well as serve as a platform for experimental communications for Arctic purposes.

Contact: Tor Arne Johansen - tor.arne.johansen [at] ntnu.no

Supporting projects

Members of the lab are also contributing to a variety of other projects related to our main research activities. Some of them are listed below.


In the project Efficient Learning and Optimization Tools for Hyperspectral Imaging Systems (ELO-Hyp) we focus on algorithm development for hyperspectral image processing. The project is carried out together with University Politehnica of Bucharest, University of Bucharest and Coltea Hospital. The project aims to create, analyze and implement efficient learning and optimization algorithms for hyperspectral imaging models with applications to ocean monitoring and medical imaging. Developed algorithms will be benchmarked using real datasets, to ensure the algorithms’ interoperability, and produce free software. Read more!

Contact:Joe Garrett - joseph.garrett [at] ntnu.no​​​​​​​​


In Autonomous drone-based surveys of ships in operations (ADRASSO)​​​​​​​, together with DVN GL, the goal is to develop an intelligent, autonomous drone for ship inspections. The drone will fly, by itself, into a cargo or ballast tank, track its location, and use artificial intelligence to spot rust, cracks or poor coating condition, as well as measuring steel thickness, comparing with historical data to document the development of rust and cracks. This would improve safety, inspection quality, and environmental impact. Our contribution is on the hyper spectal imager and data processing. Read more!

Contact:Joe Garrett - joseph.garrett [at] ntnu.no


Through Aquacultural Warning System regarding Harmful Algal Blooms (AHAB) we pursue further processing and managing of hyperspectral data, fused with other datasources to create a services for the aquatulture industry.

Contact:Joe Garrett - joseph.garrett [at] ntnu.no

ESA Prodex for HYPSO-2 payload development

For the HYPSO-2 mission we have a project with the ESA PRODEX office, which is supporting the electrical and electro-optical development of the payload. This also includes requirements development support, so that the NTNU team can learn more about how ESA-projects are run.

Contact:Evelyn Honoré-Livermore - evelyn.livermore [at] ntnu.no



Projects funded by Norwegian Space Agency

The Norwegian Space Agency supports research and development through various project activities. Brief descriptions are listed below.

  • 2021: Through Satellite VHF interference measurement analysis and automation (SVIMA2​) ​​​​​​​we will measure and analyze on-orbit RF interfernece by utilizing the VHF receiver onboard the NorSat-2 satellite. Space Norway is our partner providing operations of the NorSat-2 satellite.
  • 2021: Together with Orbit NTNU we develop the FRAMSAT-1 satellite, which we aim to be the first Norwegian built satellite launched from the launch site at Andøya Space when this site is operational in 2022 or 2023.
  • 2021: Project about joint observation of algal blooms with robotic vehicles and satellites.