JW9JKA on Bear Island
Bear Island is the southernmost island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The island is located in the western part of the Barents Sea, approximately halfway between Spitsbergen and the North Cape. Bear Island is uninhabited except for personnel working at the island’s meteorological station. The station has been active since December 2014 and will be only operating until 30th may 2015.
In 2002 a nature reserve was established that covers all of the island, except 1.2 square kilometers (0.46 sq mi) around the meteorological station; the reserve also includes the adjacent waters to four nautical miles (7.4 kilometers (4.6 mi)) from the coast. In 2008 the decision was made to expand the reserve to 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the coast covering 177 square kilometers (68 sq mi) on land and 2,805 square kilometers (1,083 sq mi) of sea area.
Today, the island’s only inhabitants are the staff of the Norwegian meteorological and radio station at Herwighamna.
The station conducts meteorological observations and provides logistic and telecommunication services, including radio watch at HF 2182/2168 khz and VHF channels 16/12. Weather forecasts are transmitted from the station twice daily, announced on HF 2182 and VHF ch 16.
It also maintains landing platforms for use by helicopters of the Norwegian Coast Guard, the Norwegian 330 Squadron, and the Governor of Svalbard.