Technical Support

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.
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The Technical Support Group (TSG) provides support to the development- and engineering groups of ASTRON in the realization of the technical projects. The wide practical expertise and experience and the unique in house facilities makes the TSG a useful partner in many project teams.

The three main activities of the TSG are:

  • Technical support
  • Technical facilities
  • Reliability, Test and Verification

Not only ASTRON projects can benefit from the TSG know-how and facilities. External companies can contact the Bureau of Technology Transfer (BTT) for more information how to make use of this expertise group and the technical facilities.

Technical support

The technical support group can assist project teams with the realisations of electronic hardware. Board manufacturing of proto type circuits and board assembling is just an example of the TSG capabilities.
Support can be provided at various stages of a project, from a design phase to manufacturing and assembly phase.

PCB laboratory

Click to view more images In our in house PCB-lab, proto type printed circuit boards (PCB's) can be manufactured in a very short turn around time. Our capabilities and specialism is the manufacturing of high frequency prototype PCB's on RF laminates such as Duroid and TMM materials. We provide precision boards with very accurate and narrow line layouts required for the ASTRON research projects. Technical information of the PCB-lab facility can be found here.

Wire-Bonding and on-wafer testing

In the Test and Integration area, equipment is available for making (gold) wire-bond connections on silver and gold plated substrates and integrated circuits. Precision control of the wire and bonding location is achieved by the manual controlled bonding machine from West Bond. We have equipment and experience in gluing (microwave) chips on substrates.

On wafer testing of RF parameters is also possible in our Test and Integration area. The wafer-probe station and the high frequency network analyzer are making accurate S-parameter measurements on RF-IC's possible.

CAD-CAE support

Most of the ASTRON hardware developments start with a computer simulation. Simulation allows the designers to optimize a circuit prior to the product design. Computer tools are also involved in the design phase. ASTRON has various simulation and design tools for analogue, digital, optical and mechanical designs. For many of these tools, the TSG provides user support and creating a optimum tool environment. All the CAD-CAE tools are available via the local ASTRON network and the centralized component libraries are managed by the CAD-CAE engineer.

Technical facilities

ASTRON has some unique (test) facilities at its premises, enabling highly skilled technicians and engineers to carry out the various research programs. These facilities are continuously upgraded and renewed in order to serve the engineering requests.

Reliability, Test and Verification

Often, a successful project is not ending by the delivery of the functional product. Development of products with the right quality and reliability and life time in an operational environment is also essential for a project success.

The Reliability, Test and Verification (RTV) group has been established in the TSG, providing the project teams with additional support in the product development in order to improve the quality and reliability but also to prevent over design. Our RTV engineers can assist in setting up Fault tree, FME(C)A and/or RAM(S) analyses and test plans in an early stage of the project development.

Experienced reliability and test engineers can make test set -ups for simulation of (extreme) environmental condition using in house test facilities.



Design: Kuenst.    Development: Dripl.    © 2014 ASTRON