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EU-funded Research

ASTRON has a long track record in attracting and executing EU-funded projects to develop new capabilities to support the astronomical community.

We coordinate or participate in a number of large, strategic EU initiatives that

  • advance European science and technology,
  • develop human capital expertise in the Netherlands, across Europe, and in partner nations from the developing world
  • promote European-wide collaboration and  the principles of open science and data sharing.  

We are looking forward to the new era of Horizon Europe (EU FP9) programmes to build on the successes of Horizon 2020.  Initiatives such as the European Open Science Cloud will be central to delivering the sophisticated research infrastructure that can support the inspirational science pursued by the scientific communities in the Netherlands, Europe and our international partner nations.

Current Projects

ASTRON leads, or has a significant role in the following active EU projects:

Astronomy ESFRI and Research Infrastructure Cluster (ASTERICS)

Project Dates: 2016 – 2020
Budget: € 15.000.000
Partners: 25

ASTERICS brings together researchers, scientists, engineers, hardware and software specialists from astronomy, astrophysics and astro-particle physics. In these fields, new instruments are developed that have common challenges, such as the transfer, processing or storage of large amounts of data. By working together, common solutions to these challenges can be found. ASTERICS has at its heart four large European research infrastructures:the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)for radio waves,the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) for gamma rays, theExtremely Large Telescope (ELT)for visible light and theKm3 Neutrino Telescope(KM3NeT) for neutrinos. ASTRON is the coordinator of ASTERICS.

Advanced European Network of E-infrastructures for Astronomy with the SKA (AENEAS)

Project Dates: 01/01/2017 – 31/12/2019
Budget: € 3.000.000
Partners: 28

The AENEAS (Advanced European Network of E-infrastructures for Astronomy with the SKA) project , coordinated by ASTRON brings together all partners in the Square Kilometre Arrayand leading European e-infrastructure providers to develop a science-driven, functional design for a distributed, federated European regional center to support the astronomical community once the largest radio telescope in the world becomes operational.

LOFAR for Space Weather (LOFAR4SW)

Project Dates: 01/12/2017 – 31/05/2021
Budget: € 3.000.000
Partners: 8

ASTRON is leading a comprehensive design study to explore the potential of the International LOFAR Telescope for space weather science. ASTRON owns and operates the world’s premier low-frequency radio telescope (LOFAR), with a number of current and pending European partners. We are now designing LOFAR’s capacity to offer parallel non-astronomical services, e.g. in Space Weather, where the tomographic mapping of solar outbursts is a unique facility, which only LOFAR can provide.

European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures (ESCAPE)

Project Dates: 01/02/2019 – 31/07/2022
Budget: € 16.000.000
Partners: 30

ASTRON is a major partner in the ESCAPE project. ESCAPE works to ensure the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) to support open science and open data with the current astronomy and physics ESFRIfacilities. ASTRON has scientific leadership of work package 5 which will assess the needs of the ESFRIs and the various technologies currently being explored and implement a set of core functionalities into the EOSC environment.

ASTRON also participates in

Advanced Radio Astronomy in Europe (RadioNet)

Project Dates: 01/01/2017 – 31/12/2020
Budget: € 10.500.000
Partners: 29
CORDIS: RadioNet

A research and innovation cluster including the Joint Research Activities (JRA) BRAND and RINGS towards new radio technologies with our EC partners.

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

Project Dates: 01/01/2018 – 31/12/2020
<Budget: € 33.300.000
Partners: 76

EOSC-hub is a follow-up project to EOSC pilot with a focus on deployment and utilisation of mature services in the European Open Science Cloud. Together with its data center partners (SURFsara. FZ-Jülich, PSNC), ASTRON is developing and integrating services for a Radio Astronomy Competence Center. The objective is to create accessible data access and data processing services, and to provide documentation and training for these services, that will empower researchers to perform LOFAR data analysis on EOSC provided processing systems and to publish and share scientific results in appropriate Science Data Repositories to address long-term preservation and accessibility in accordance with FAIR principles.

Joining up Users for Maximising the Profile, the Innovation and Necessary Globalisation of JIVE (JumpingJIVE)

Project Dates: 1/12/2016 – 31/01/2021
Budget: € 3.000.000
Partners: 11

The JUMPING JIVE project brings together scientists and engineers to define the future of VLBI for scientific applications, and identify the required technological innovation to realise such a future. The project aims to encourage existing telescopes to join the EVN, connect with future instruments (Square Kilometre Array, African VLBI Network), and find new JIVE partners to expand the membership base. In addition, there are resources for a dedicated outreach effort. JIVE& is leading the project from its base at ASTRON in Dwingeloo (the Netherlands).

LOFAR 2-20's

LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is an important radio telescope in the Northern Netherlands which was built in 2009. From 2020 on, investments will be made in the second phase of LOFAR. For this second phase, it is necessary to gain additional knowledge within the fields of electronics, expansion of the stations, broader employability of LOFAR and environmentally friendly applications. With this project, knowledge is developed by ASTRON together with the northern (SME) companies NEWAYS, MAJOR and AMPULZ. In doing so, there’s a good chance of valorisation of this knowledge in 2020.

LOFAR 2-20’s is supported by the European EFRO subsidy from the Northern Netherlands Provinces Alliance (SNN) and from the Province of Drenthe and Friesland.

More information about LOFAR 2-20’s can be found here (Dutch).


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