NUTS - NTNU Test Satellite, a Norwegian CubeSat Project

NUTS-related presentations and meetings in Geneva, January 19-21, 2015

Written by: Roger Birkeland
Published: 06.02.15
by Timo A. Stein and Arnstein Kleven. Cover photo: NTNU students visiting the Norwegian Permanent Mission in Geneva, Jan. 19, 2015, credit: F. Strand

Two students of the NUTS cubesat team have been part of a NTNU student excursion to Geneva, Switzerland, January 19-21, 2015. The aim was to visit several organisations located in the town, namely the United Nations headquarters, the Norwegian Permanent Mission, UNOSAT and CERN. The group consisted of 16 students with a technical study background. In addition to the visits and guided tours, two presentations were given in regard to NUTS, the compact radiation monitor CPT-SCOPE and other selected NTNU space activities.

On the first day, a guided tour through the United Nations headquarters was attended by the students. Subsequently, the Permanent Mission of Norway in Geneva was visited. We were introduced to the mission’s work and aims. During the stay T. A. Stein gave a presentation about NTNU-related space activities and an outlook on the emerging small satellite market,
highlighting its potential for Norway. The talk was entitled: “Space Activity at NTNU: International Collaboration and Opportunity for Norway”. In it the role of university-based technology development, on the example of NUTS and CPT-SCOPE, was outlined. Furthermore, its potential for new Norwegian high-tech industries was described.

Presentation at the Norwegian Permanent Mission in Geneva, Jan. 19, 2015, credit: A. Kleven

The following day the group attended a day-long tour through the Franco-Swiss campus of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). There the students were visiting the LHC accelerator and the LHCb-experiment cavern, located some 100 metres below ground. Later on several other experiments were shown to us including several antimatter experiments and the CERN data centre. The tour was complemented with presentations by CERN staff in order to recruit more NTNU and other Norwegian students for the organisation.

During lunch time A. Kleven and T. A. Stein had a meeting with Dr. Einar Bjørgo, the manager of UNOSAT. The organisation is part of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and was established in 2000. Its mission is to provide satellite solutions to other UN organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and similar agencies. Its focus lies on satellite imagery and providing training of personnel in associated fields. UNOSAT also collaborates with CERN where it operates an office. The meeting began with a short introduction of both parties. Then A. Kleven and T. A. Stein gave a presentation entitled: “Examples of Space Activity at NTNU: NUTS CubeSat, CPT-SCOPE and future payloads”. It was specifically tailored to show the value of small satellites for future satellite imagery and providing help to developing countries or emergency relief efforts, all topics of relevance for UNOSAT. The NUTS project has been explained thoroughly with focus on the visual camera payload which is currently in a prototype stage.

Meeting with UNOSAT manager Dr. Einar Bjørgo (middle) at CERN, Jan. 20, 2015, credit: A. Kleven

After a long day at CERN we met in the evening with interns of the German and Norwegian Permanent Mission for dinner and had a good time. On the last day, we flew back to Trondheim - a little tired but highly satisfied with the outcome of the trip to Geneva. The authors would like to thank the NUTS organisation for their support to partially cover travel costs and related expenses. The visit was organised by T. A. Stein and the participating NTNU students received support by the NT-faculty (1200 NOK per student) for which we are also grateful.

Timo A. Stein, Dept. of Physics, NTNU; URL:

Relevant links:
Permanent Mission of Norway (Geneva) web page:
UNOSAT web page:
CERN web page: