Mount Gullsvågfjellet does not make for an ideal office space. Not with that weather.
Atop the mountain, at 725 metres above sea level on Norway’s Vega Island, Mark, a Raytheon UK engineer, is installing a new air traffic control radar amid snow storms, bitter winds and low visibility.
“When the snows come in, the mountain is almost closed down. And the cable car doesn’t run most of the winter because of the strong winds, so the only way up is by foot on a tough, two-hour hike,” said Mark. “Also, there’s minimal daylight, as Vega Island is near the Arctic Circle.”
Since 2000, Mark has installed Raytheon UK radars all over the world, from the U.K. to the U.S., South America, North Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Seventy percent of his job is on the road.
He is outfitting Mount Gullsvågfjellet with Raytheon UK’s Condor MK3, a state-of-the-art surveillance radar for air traffic controllers. This is the first MK3 radar installed on Vega Island and second in Europe to be commissioned by the Norwegian government to upgrade the island’s current radar system. Raytheon UK will install a total of four Condor MK3s for the nation's Avinor Air Navigation Services Provider, the first of which was installed at Norway's Sola municipality.
“Installing and commissioning the Condor MK3 has been one of my biggest challenges, due to the weather and location,” said Mark. “But when it’s fully operational, it will give the customer a world-class capability to monitor air traffic.”
Mark is setting up the MK3, finalising the commissioning tests and ensuring the antenna and turning gear are in working order.