Science meets adventure, on Nanok Arctic expedition


Two Belgian adventurers crossed Greenland on a triathlon including ski, kayak and a vertical rock climb. They had a Septentrio GNSS receiver with them to collect valuable data for climate research.    

Two Belgian adventurers ventured into the far north on a journey to collect research data for the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB). The adventurers took a Septentrio AsteRx SB receiver with them to collect positioning and height data to help ROB build a precise elevation profile of the Greenland Ice Sheet as well as to calibrate existing elevation models, which are based on satellite altimetry. This data allows scientists to keep a close track of the elevation of the ice caps and to estimate the rate of ice recession. The multi-frequency capability of the AsteRx SB receiver also enabled monitoring of the ionospheric activity as well as validation of Galileo signals at high latitudes. During the journey the AsteRX SB receiver proved to be able to deliver accurate positioning measurements even in the harshest environments, thanks to its robust enclosure and reliable GNSS technology.



Figure 1 Watch this video and see how 2 Belgian adventurers went on a journey to the Arctic Circle to collect data for scientific research

The AsteRx SB receiver provides accurate and reliable positioning data even in the world’s harshest environments. Data collected during this first-of-a-kind expedition will help research of arctic ice caps, ionospheric activity and other topics”

Dr Nicolas Bergeot
Time-Ionosphere section of the Royal Observatory of Belgium
Septentrio's GPS/GNSS technology helps adventurers collect data for climate research in Greenland
Figure 2: The bottom plot shows results of ice thickness collected over the journey across Greenland

The expedition called Nanok, which is an Inuit word for “polar bear” consists of 2 adventurers: Gilles Denis and Nathan Goffart. They started their triathlon with a ski with a pulk sled along the Arctic Circle. The second part of the triathlon was a sea kayak along the Greenland east coast, and finally they concluded their journey with a 1 km vertical rock climb for the opening of a new route. The AsteRx SB receiver and the PolaNt-x MF antenna accompanied the explorers throughout the whole journey.  

Watch the full video of the Nanok expedition here



The ROB, founded in 1826, is a renowned institution dedicated to astronomical research, geophysics, and meteorology. It houses advanced telescopes and instruments for observing celestial phenomena and studying Earth's atmosphere. The observatory contributes significantly to scientific advancements in understanding space weather, planetary dynamics, and climate change impacts on Earth.