The ASTRON Research & Development division is responsible for the technical programme. The programme focuses on innovative instruments for existing telescopes as well as on developing technologies for future observing facilities.
In the R & D division highly trained professionals work on the achievement of technical goals. It often starts with an idea which is elaborated into a concept. This concept may subsequently lead to a particular prototype or instrument through a controlled R & D process. Often external parties such as national and international partners (c.g universities, competence centres and companies) are invited to collaborate in this process.
Astron has extended its environmental test facilities with SOLAR SIMULATION.
This new Suntest XXL+ facility from ATLAS enables sun simulation under various temperature and humidity conditions. Sun simulation is very valuable in the development of plastic outdoor constructions such as used in our modern antenna techniques.
Currently, a successful solar simulation test has been completed on a LOFAR antenna system.