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Read more about the Sondrestrom Facility


Manager Bent Brodersen

P.O. Box 109
DK- 3910 Kangerlussuaq Greenland

+299 841104 ext 76452

+299 841472




SRI Sondrestrom

Principal Investigator
Dr. Jeff Thayer

+1 650 859 3557
+1 650 321 2318

Sondrestrom Site Supervisor
John Jørgensen

+299 84 12 60

Logistics Coordinator
Mary McCready


NSF Facility
Program Director Upper Atmospheric Facilities
Dr. Robert M. Robinson



Kangerlussuaq has two facilities for researchers:

Kangerlussuaq International Science Support (KISS)



In order to stimulate and attract international research interest in arctic science the Greenland Home Rule established KISS in 1994 as a science support facility in Kangerlussuaq.

The facility is owned by the Greenland Home Rule, and operated by the Greenland Civil Aviation Department. KISS lies at the head of the fjord Kangerlussuaq in a dry, low arctic area with diverse habitats such as heaths, salt lakes, dune systems and mountain tundra and with a rich population of caribou and muskoxen

Kangerlussuaq is located just north of the Arctic Circle, at the head of the 140 km long fjord Kangerlussuaq (Greenlandic for big fjord), at 67°01'N 50°41'W. Kangerlussuaq is the main airport for traffic to/from Greenland. The town of Kangerlussuaq has a population of c. 450 and it provides all the facilities that can be expected in a modern town.

The climate is low arctic and continental with an annual precipitation averaging 120 mm. Winter temperature reaches down to 500. and in the summer the temperature may increase to above 20°C. The plant growing season is relatively long (150 days without snow cover, 80 continuously frost free days) The climate is extremely stable and predictable with a monthly mean of 241 sun hours in May-August. The Kangerlussuaq region is a well exposed high grade basement terrain forming the southern border zone of the Precambrium Nagssutoqidian orogon. The region has a glacial landscape dating back 8,000 years back. The proximity of the Greenland Ice Sheet has a significant effect on the climate regime for the living resources and further it presents unique opportunities for studies on the ice sheet edge zone.

Unique features
The KISS facility and the area of Kangerlussuaq offers the following:

  • arctic study area with high fauna and flora diversity
  • proximity to the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet
  • study area close to the Auroral Zone
  • good facilities for scientists studying ionosphere, magnetosphere, and the upper and lower atmosphere
  • high concentration of wildlife species, e.g. caribou, muskoxen, arctic fox, arctic hare, raven, gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon

KISS has two buildings holding wet laboratory, dry laboratory, computer room with internet access, kitchen, mess, living room, conference room, toilets, showers, well-equipped workshop, offices and storage room. The laboratories are equipped with only very basic equipment such as ovens, scale, refrigerator and deep freezer. KISS is a branch of the Greenland Civil Aviation Department (Mittarfeqarfiit). Mittarfeqarfiit has a modern conference facility, auto shop, carpentry shop, electrical shop and a heavy equipment shop.

Scientific equipment: Deep freezer, refrigerators, drying oven, electrical power (110 V and 220-230 V, 60 Hz)
Transport: All means of transport are available on a rental basis
Safety: None
Telecommunication: Telephone, fax and e-mail.

Under normal conditions KISS can accommodate up to 56 persons. At special occassions it is however possible to extend the capacity 146 persons.

KISS has a station manager situated at the facility year-round. During the high seasons, technical assistants are employed as required.

Access and transportation
Two commercial airlines fly between Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq. The flight frequency during summer months is a least nine times per week and during winter months a least five times per week. A city bus operates within the city boundaries of Kangerlussuaq. Local transport outside the city boundaries is either by car, hiking or biking. Helicopter chartering is also a possibility.

Field season
KISS is open for scientists throughout the year.

The facility does not carry out any monitoring. Climate data are available at a nominal cost from the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Ownership and history
KISS is owned by Greenland Home Rule Government and operated by Mittarfeqarfiit (Greenland Civil Aviation Department). Danish Polar Center is responsible for the dissemination of information about KISS and assists in handling of bookings. KISS was founded in the 1993 by Mittarfeqarfiit and Danish Polar Center.

SRI's Sondrestrom Facility


This is an upper atmospheric research facility funded by US National Science Foundation, Upper Atmospheric Facilities Program and operated and managed by Stanford Research Institute, SRI International. The Sondrestrom facility is part of a global network of incoherent scatter radars and besides the principal radar instrument the facility also hosts a wide range of optical and radiowave instruments operated for universities and government labs. The facility is located close to Kangerlussuaq airport.

If you wish to enquire about opportunities to set up experiments at the Sondrestrom Facility, please contact SRI International.

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Updated May 2, 2002