Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
|Motto||FFI turns knowledge and ideas into an effective defence|
|Established||April 11th 1946|
|Norwegian Ministry of Defence|
|Director General||John-Mikal Størdal|
The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt – FFI) is a research institute that conducts research and development on behalf of the Norwegian Armed Forces and provides expert advice to political and military defence leaders. In particular, its task is to keep track of advances in the fields of science and military technology which might affect the assumptions on which Norwegian security policy and/or defence planning is based.
The institute was established in 1946, with its roots in British WWII research, where many Norwegian scientists/technologists took part (their own country occupied by the Germans 1940–1945). FFI has 714 employees, of which approximately 360 are scientists and engineers. The main location of the institute is at Kjeller near Lillestrøm, 20 km east of the country's capital Oslo. The Kjeller area is a hub of research activity in south eastern Norway, with a total of some 2,400 people working at a variety of research establishments, colleges and university departments.
Part of the institute's Maritime Systems Division is situated in the coastal city of Horten, southwest of Oslo on the western side of the Oslofjord. Horten is known as the country's MEMS capital, and is also a center of electronics and naval research and industry.
In way of concrete technology products, FFI is known for, among other things:
- The development of a range of computers in the early 1960s which eventually led to the creation of Norsk Data as well as Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (KV)'s Computer Division:
- LYDIA (1962)
- The development, with KV's Division of Guided Weapons, of the Penguin anti-ship missile
- The development of the "Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Exploration (RIMFAX)", a ground-penetrating radar that will provide centimeter-scale resolution of the geologic structure of the planet subsurface. It will be mounted on a Mars rover in a 2020 NASA trip to Mars.