The Need for Modernization
The GLOBUS System is a radar system located at Vårberget in Vardø. This is a co-operation between Norway and USA, which was initiated back in the 1950s.
The GLOBUS I radar was fielded at the end of the 1980s and is approaching its end-of-life. A modernization effort is under way to upgrade and extend the service life of the system. The GLOBUS I radar will be replaced by a new radar in a new facility. Construction started fall 2016 and the new facility was principally completed in the summer of 2018.
Installation of the radar began late 2018. The progress of the modernization activity is according to plan. To protect the installations from severe weather conditions, an enclosure will be installed on top of the new facility during summer 2019. The enclosure will be removed when the permanent radome is to be mounted.
Once the radar is installed it will go through a comprehensive test program.
The new and modernized GLOBUS System is expected operational in 2022.
The GLOBUS Mission
The Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) operates and controls the GLOBUS System, and the GLOBUS mission is to:
- conduct surveillance on, track, and categorize space objects,
- conduct surveillance in our national area of interests, and
- collect data for national research and development.
The GLOBUS System has never been part of a US' nor any other country's missile defense system. It is not connected to, nor does it transfer information in real time to the US or any other country's missile defense system – a prerequisite for a functional missile defense system. The modernization effort will not change this.
The GLOBUS System cannot be used for collecting personnel data.
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GLOBUS and Parliamentary Control
Using radars for surveillance and to provide data for national research purposes does not violate any international law or agreement. All GLOBUS operations, i.e. command and control of the radar system, is executed by Norwegian personnel. Collected data is under Norwegian control and subsequent sharing of data with partner is according to established agreements. Norwegian personnel decides which data collections to share.
The Norwegian Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Security Services, the EOS-committee, exercises parliamentary control with NIS to ensure that all NIS activities are within Norwegian law and regulations.
The EOS-committee has full insight into the GLOBUS collaboration, and has inspected the GLOBUS System several times. Results from the inspections are made public in the annual reports from the EOS-committee.
The EOS-committee is informed about the GLOBUS modernization effort.
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The NIS is one of the largest employers in Vardø and contributes to local tax revenues. The GLOBUS modernization effort assures a long term commitment to the NIS activities in Vardø and offers stable and good employment opportunities. Employees are also recruited locally.
Personnel visiting the Vardø site makes frequent use of local services, e.g. hotel, dining, airport, etc.
During the modernization period, several local entrepreneurs and service providers are used.
The NIS has contributed to a general upgrade of the power supply to the city of Vardø, benefiting all citizens in Vardø.
An agreement with the local council of Vardø to support installation of fiber network for TV and broadband services is established. The agreement applies to households in Vardø and is administered by the local council.
During the construction and modernization period, there will be increased traffic in Vardø and in particular to and from Vårberget. According to plan, heavy traffic is to subside by the end of 2019.
Road traffic safety is a top priority and the possible introduction of additional measures will be coordinated with the municipal management. Additional measures could be road signs, temporary road closure, or manual traffic direction and control.
Visitors and contractors are regularly reminded to be considerate and cautious when driving to and from the construction site at Vårberget.
The electromagnetic radiation from the GLOBUS radars in Vardø is within the limits set by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency (NRPA). These limits are identical to the limits recommended by the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Hence, the GLOBUS System does not constitute a safety hazard for personnel working at the radar site or the local population.
Several surveys conducted jointly by NRPA and the Norwegian Communications Authority (NKOM) have been carried out and the reports are made available to the public. In 2009 an extensive survey of the GLOBUS radars and other military and civilian emitters were conducted and the conclusion was that
[Translated] "At all locations the RF levels were below the limits, both for average and peak values. There is no basis for assuming the radars and the civilian system poses a risk to health and safety. There is no basis for recommending any efforts to reducing the RF-levels"
The last survey was in 2016, after a minor upgrade of GLOBUS II, with the same conclusion as for the 2009 survey. Reports can be requested by contacting NKOM. A new survey will be conducted once the upgrade and modernization of the GLOBUS System is completed.
More information on health and safety risks regarding electromagnetic radiation can be obtained by visiting the NRPA home page at www.stralevernet.no. For information about NKOM and its role in RF-surveys, please see www.nkom.no.
Director NIS, Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde, officially approves statements on this web page.