Sverdrup Research Station

The station serves as a research and monitoring facility for long and short-term measurement programs as well as a field base giving logistical support for research teams working in the pristine environment around Ny-Ålesund. 


Sverdrup Research Station, the Norwegian Polar Institute's research station in Ny-Ålesund. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute


The Sverdrup Station offers research facilities to visiting scientists: offices with phone and internet, guest computers, two small workshops for smaller electronical and mechanical repairs, a small guest lab with sink, workbench and refrigerator, a large roof platform for instruments, a library, and a lounge for meetings and social gatherings.

The station has an extensive and well-equipped logistics department offering logistical support like boats (Polarcirkel working boats, rubber and aluminum boats), snowmobiles and sledges, field equipment like tents, sleeping bags, primus, clothes, etc., and safety equipment (radios, personal beacons etc.).

The settlement of Ny-Ålesund is run by Kings Bay AS, the company providing the infrastructure, housing and boarding facilities in Ny-Ålesund, as well as being responsible for the flight traffic and the quay.

boat with two persons in survival suits going ashoretwo parked snowmobiles, two persons standing in the back


All visitors to Ny-Ålesund must be guests of one of the stations, with the exception of some VIP and media visits. Enquiries made to Kings Bay will be directed to the appropriate station. Scientists from nations not represented in Ny-Ålesund should come through Sverdrup Research Station.

Each station asses requests for their support. The assessment should include quality of research, compatibility with existing research in Ny-Ålesund and competence and suitability of personnel. Adherence to Svalbard law and environmental impact must also be considered. The Governor of Svalbard has a useful guide for scientists in Svalbard.

Guide for applications/bookings at Sverdrup Research Station (PDF)

The deadlines for applications and bookings to Sverdrup Station are

  • 1 February for spring season
  • 1 April for summer season and space at the Marine Lab
  • 1 September for autumn/winter season

All services are booked through Research in Svalbard (RiS). The RiS booking system handles bookings of transport (flight Longyearbyen–Ny-Ålesund), lodging, fright, storage and freezer, equipment/support  from stations, office, safety course / weapons* from Kings Bay, provisions, chemicals, marine laboratory and MS Teisten workboat).

The research project must be registered in the RiS portal prior to booking services. Allow some days for the project to receive a RiS number.

Book services through RiS

After initial booking in RiS, any additional details regarding equipment/support from Sverdrup Research Station can be specified through e-mail to . Available equipment can be found in the Polar Institute's product catalogue.

Sverdrup station is also part of the Access Programme offered through the EU project INTERACT. Learn more about INTERACT, how to apply, deadlines, etc.

* Polar bears can be encountered in the surroundings of Ny-Ålesund all year round. Scientists in the field are required to always carry a VHF radio and a rifle for safety. Due to legal restrictions, the Norwegian Polar Institute can only provide rifles to researchers employed by the institute. Other researchers need to rent rifles, and participate in the mandatory rifle training and safety course from Kings Bay. Documented shooting courses from The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) or The Norwegian Polar Institute can replace the rifle training.

Slideshow: Sverdrup Research Station

Research at the station

The Norwegian Polar Institute is the primary research institute and host institute for several research and monitoring programmes in the Ny-Ålesund area. The station engineers are responsible for daily service and operation of instruments, including measurement programmes owned by institutions from other countries.

  • The biological studies with the station as a base include monitoring programs on reindeer, arctic fox, polar bear and marine mammals and birds. An important activity at the station is the effect studies of long-transported pollutants on arctic birds and mammals.
  • Glacier monitoring in the Ny-Ålesund area is another major activity at the station. Mass balance studies have been performed on several glaciers in the area, and the oldest records on mass balance are from 1967.
  • The monitoring of landfast sea ice in Kongsfjorden started in 2003 and includes both in-situ measurements of ice properties and daily monitoring of the ice extent.
  • Long term monitoring of meteorological data (since 1969) is continously performed at the Sverdrup Station (data available from
  • Daily observations of atmospheric ozone as well as filtered and weighted UV-radiation are performed with a number of instruments.
  • The Zeppelin Observatory, run by the Norwegian Polar Institute, is located on the nearby mountain ridge at the elevation of 475 m.a.s.l. The monitoring of incoming radiation, atmospheric trace gases, particle size distribution and radiative properties, together with other atmospheric parameters are conducted by several institutes, with Norwegian institute for Air Research (NILU), Stockholm University and the Norwegian Polar Institute being the main users.