LappiSat satellite centre – Special Expertise and Technical Execution for Space Activities, Science and Technology.

The project's main concept is to build the first satellite of Lapland and create a centre of competence in space technology in Lapland. Training locals and creating expertise to Lapland is part of the project's goals. The project is carried out by SGO, Lapland University, Lapland UAS and the scientists of Oulu University. The long-term goal of the project is to start LappiSat satellite program.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

European Structural and Investment Funds - European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Project funder

European Regional Development Fund / The Regional Council of Lapland
Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory
Oulu University

Funding amount

3 219 851 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Project description

The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO) has over a century-long history in research of the auroras and the near space magnetic fluctuation relating to the auroras. The scientific, and in the Lapland's case, the commercial significance has been known for long in Finland. Recently, the significance of this research has been recogniced also on a deeper level in the Finnish society.

The Sun's magnetic activity and the solar storms caused by this activity, has been acknowledged to be one of the most significant national risks for our country. Solar activity has been listed as a national risk for the first time in the 2015 national risk assesment and later again, in the 2021 updated Lapland's regional risk assesment.

In recent years, Finland's enhanced satellite competence has enabled the launch of the first Finnish satellites, creation of new business activities in the space sector and Finland to evolve to be a country with satellite expertise. Due to this progression in 2018, a new space legislation was promulgated. The Act on Space Activites defines a framework, smooth authorisation process and uniform operator obligations for space actors in Finland.

Currently, most of the Finland's satellite expertise is located in the southern Finland; earlier realised space projects have allowed new space businesses to grow there. These businesses offer technical solutions to space activities for an expanding client base.

In 2020, SGO hired a team of experts to start a new space project. These experts help to grow the Lapland's space expertise to a new level, by starting Lapland space missions with the new LappiSat satellites. The goal is to offer solutions, which are beneficial for Lapland, for Finland and for the whole world.

Project Goals:

  1. Building the first satellite of Lapland: LappiSat-1. The satellite's scientific payload measures the auroras and the magnetic changes of near space. The payload instruments are mainly developed and built in SGO. The observatory has advantage of long-term reasearch on measuring data and building its own instruments.
  2. Creating a centre of competence in the fast growing space segment in Lapland. The students from Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lapland UAS) can participate in the development work of the LappiSat-1 and can utilise the material for their theses. When outsourcing for the project, Lapland operators are preferred when ever possible.
  3. The long-term goal of the project is to start a LappiSat satellite program. The first LappiSat-1 satellite is followed by several Earth-orbit satellites with more advanced instruments. In the near future, based on the competence accumulated from the LappiSat satellite program, it will be possible to build geophysical instruments, which will be launched on satellites or probes to Moon, to asteroids and to the neigbouring planets.

Contact Personnel

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory

Project manager
Jouni Envall

Science Coordinator
Eija Tanskanen

Project Coordinator
Maarit Keskinen