ASTRON is responsible for the operations of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).


The astronomical research at ASTRON is closely aligned with the strengths of our facilities LOFAR and WSRT-APERTIF.

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ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and is part of the Institutes organisation of NWO.
First phase of DISTURB completed

S[&]T (Science [&] Technology), ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) and KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) have completed the design of DISTURB, a warning system for eruptions on the sun.

Humans of ASTRON: Ágnes Mika

In Humans of ASTRON we share stories about the people at ASTRON. Who are the people behind the discoveries and innovations and also, who are the people that make sure that everything runs smoothly? This time we interview Dr. Ágnes Mika, project manager at ASTRON, about her work for the radio astronomy institute. She joined ASTRON in 2013.

Humans of ASTRON: Zheng Meyer-Zhao

In Humans of ASTRON we share stories about the people at ASTRON. Who are the people behind the discoveries and innovations and also, who are the people that make sure that everything runs smoothly? This time, Zheng Meyer-Zhao, Science Data Centre Development Lead, shares her story. She joined ASTRON in 2018.

Apertif images yield first scientific results

The Apertif upgrade of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) has yielded its first scientific paper based on its images. The paper has been published in the scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Simultaneous optical and radio observations of Perseids
Humans of ASTRON: Jorrit Siebenga
Women Astronomers Day
Humans of ASTRON: Emanuela Orrù
What we look forward to in LOFAR 2.0: Live warning system to study solar eruptions
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DISTURB-1: a solar spectrograph design

© © 2020 Michiel Brentjens (ASTRON)

DISTURB (Disturbance-detection by Intelligent Solar radio Telescope of (Un)pertur-bed Radiofrequency Bands) is a proposed broadband (3 MHz to 3 GHz continous), sunrise-to-sunset monitor of the solar radio spectrum. Because bright solar radio outbursts can severely impact radio communications and RADAR, both the Dutch military, and KNMI (who warns the Dutch vital sectors of relevant space weather events) are highly interested in having such a service available. Because ASTRON and S&T (a company in Delft we know very well) have a lot of experience making intelligent (phased array) systems, ASTRON, S&T, and KNMI received funding from the National Technology Project fund — administered by the Dutch Ministry of Defense — to make a concept design: DISTURB-1.

The image shows the preliminary design. We need five antenna systems to measure the entire band: modified LOFAR LBA antennas (left, 3—90 MHz), modified LOFAR HBA antennas (front, 80—260 MHz), newly developed antennas (nearby on the processing container, 220—680 MHz), SKA MFAA Vivaldis (on the slanted post, 560—1700 MHz), and a newly developed conformal array (the sphere on the far side of the container, 1600—3000 MHz).

Today the DISTURB consortium hosts representatives of the Dutch military to formally close DISTURB's design phase, and to inform them of our plans for a full-scale prototype station to be constructed in the next few years, leading up to solar maximum in 2025—2026.


Applied RF technology course

Mon 17 May 2021 - Thu 20 May 2021

The RF course is an excellent introduction for Digital / Analog engineers who are or will be involved in the development of RF systems.


Latest tweets

We have completed the design of DISTURB, a solar radio telescope that warns us of solar eruptions.

Daily image of the week: This summer we held a workshop Open-Source Software Lifecycles as part of the ESCAPE project.

Throwback Thursday (14-09-1995): The 25th anniversary of the Westerbork Synthese Radio Telescoop (WSRT).

Throwback Thursday (10-09-1991): The real start of SKA.
@SKA_telescope #radioastronomy