NSI is the only research organization in Denmark with the basic funding and mandate to carry out space research. Although space research is also conducted at other universities and organizations, these activities primarily rely on funding from research agencies and other external funding sources.
Through national and international cooperation, NSI leverages its research capabilities to create new knowledge and technology of value for Danish research infrastructure, industry, and society at large. NSI’s scientific competences further give it the ability to provide qualified advice to national and international agencies and organizations, and also forms the basis for educating researchers and engineers in both basic and specialized disciplines.
NSI's mission is to create and expand knowledge about Earth and space physics as well as related space technologies in order to:
• Foster scientific results within Earth and space physics of a high international standard
• Provide space-related technological research of a high international standard
• Increase student motivation to enter technical and scientific disciplines
• Create attractive educational opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers
• Offer added value, growth and synergies in the high-tech end of Danish industry and business through the exchange of knowledge and technology
• Offer research-based consultancy to agencies and authorities regarding space science and technology, the environment, climate, geographic infrastructure, transport and security in Denmark.
The common denominator in NSI’s research activities is the application of satellites for studying Earth and space physics and the development of systems, methods and instruments which support these activities.
The department is characterized by a close-knit interplay between engineering disciplines and natural science. The scientific challenges require development of new technologies, and the technological research opens up new scientific opportunities.
The combination of the technical and scientific competencies enables the NSI to deliver unique end-to-end solutions within selected areas, i.e. to both develop the necessary instrumentation and process the collected data to scientific results.
The department’s main areas of research are:
• Geopotential field research (Earth’s gravity and magnetism)
• Sea level and ocean dynamics
• Cryosphere research
• Geodesy positioning and reference frames
• Upper atmospheric electric discharges
• Solar wind – planetary interactions
• Cosmic rays, cloud cover and climate
• Large-scale structure of the universe
• Compact objects
• X-ray and gamma-ray instrumentation
• Magnetometer instrumentation
• Space electro-optics instrumentation
• Inertial reference sensors and stellar references
• Radar and radiometer technology