Photo: Norwegian Mapping Authority/Per Erik Opseth

NASA, the US space research agency, is joining with the Norwegian Mapping Authority to build a new state-of-the art satellite laser station in Norway’s Arctic, according to a report in the Independent Barents Observer.

The station will produce high-precision locations of orbiting satellites, track changes in the ice sheets and improve the efficiency of maritime transportation and agriculture during a time of Global Warming.

The new satellite laser will be installed in the Svalbard Norwegian Arctic archipelago and will provide key data on sea and ice changes. It will also track satellites over the polar area.

Retreating ice sheets in Scandinavia and northern Russia are creating new shipping routes and strategic challenges.

Russia announced earlier this week that it will soon hold large-scale Arctic naval maneuvers. The Northern Fleet exercise will involve 50 ships, including submarines, support ships, aircraft and helicopters.