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Industry: Other
Location: Norway
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Kongsberg Spacetec partners with SUSE to lead the way in satellite remote sensing


  • Helps the company meet customer demand for exceptional stability and performance.
  • Boosts efficiency by reducing support costs and effort.
  • Reduces development time for new systems, shortening time to market.


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Kongsberg Spacetec is the world leading provider of turnkey satellite ground stations for Earth observation satellites and processing software for remote sensing applications. A subsidiary of the international technology corporation KONGSBERG Group, the company was recently involved in the development of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), the USA’s next generation weather and climate satellite system.


Kongsberg Spacetec’s customers rely on its systems to reliably gather data over long periods, so the underlying server platform must deliver consistent stability and performance. By choosing SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Kongsberg Spacetec rapidly deployed a rocksolid foundation for highly available solutions with a flexible environment for development. Thanks to SUSE solutions, Kongsberg Spacetec reduces the risk of its customers missing vital observations — helping it lead the way in satellite remote sensing.

The Challenge

To retain its position on the leading edge of satellite remote sensing, Kongsberg Spacetec must develop systems that can reliably gather increasingly large amounts of data over long periods of time. Frustrated by the cost, vendor lock­in and lack of flexibility of UNIX­based operating systems, the company adopted Linux as the foundation for its solutions, but soon found that non­enterprise distributions fell short of its exacting standards.

“We encountered issues with bugs and instabilities in new releases on non­enter­prise Linux distributions,” says Dr. Frank Øynes, Program Director at Kongsberg Spacetec. “Customers rely on our solu­tions to work 24/7 for years at a time, and any problems with the underlying technology could result in them missing a vital observation. Internally, we wanted to give our developers more flexible tools to work with.”

Reluctant to pass up the advantages of working with open­source Linux solutions, Kongsberg Spacetec began looking for an enterprise­ class alternative.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server enables us to deliver ultra-reliable, high-performance systems that exceed our customers’ expectations.”

SUSE Solution

Kongsberg Spacetec chose SLES as the foundation for its satellite remote sensing systems.

“Following a period of intensive testing, we selected SLES over competing offerings because it was the optimal match for our hardware and in­house expertise,” says Dr. Frank Øynes. “We also felt that SLES had the best reputation, which would be an additional selling ­point to our custom­ =ers. Ultimately, we liked SUSE better than the nearest competitor.”

Next, Kongsberg Spacetec used YaST, the user­ friendly configuration and ad­ ministration tool integrated with SLES, to achieve a rapid implementation. Dr. Frank Øynes says, “Using YaST, we were able to install and configure SLES very quickly, and start using the solution with little effort.”

By deploying the SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit (SDK), Kongs­ berg Spacetec gained a comprehensive set of tools to support and accelerate de­velopment of new solutions. “Having a standard, highly flexible oper­ating system in place helps our develop­ers to work more effectively,” says Frank Øynes. “Although they are free to utilize other operating systems for development if they prefer, most choose SLES.”

The Results

Since Kongsberg Spacetec embraced SLESas its stan­dard operating system for development, testing and solution delivery, the company and its clients have experienced consis­tently high performance and stability.

“SLES enables us to deliver ultra ­reliable, high­ performance systems that exceed our customers’ expectations,” says Dr. Frank Øynes. “Ten years into our use of SLES and we continue to be impressed by the solution. With few major upgrades re­quired, it enables us to provide systems that customers can use for years at a time with no interruption.”

In moving to SLES, Kongsberg Spacetec has boosted efficiency. Dr. Frank Øynes says, “With SLES, we can produce and distribute updates at greater speed and ease than we were able to achieve with UNIX­based systems. Better still, it reduces our support costs and offers us access to a vast eco­ system of open­source tools and libraries. And if we ever have a problem, we can call on the superb support offered by SUSE.” By facilitating development, the solution is helping Kongsberg Spacetec build a suc­cessful future.

“Working with SLES, we have significantly reduced de­velopment and testing times, helping us bring our innovative systems to market sooner,” says Dr. Frank Øynes. “By provid­ ing a rock­solid foundation for our solu­tions, SLES helps us play our part in driving tomorrow’s sat­ellite systems.”