The NOVA-OIR group is hosted by ASTRON in Dwingeloo and is specialised in the development of infrared opto-mechanical cryogenic systems.

The NOVA Optical Infrared Astronomical Instrumentation Group develops systems and subsystems for the most advanced optical and infrared telescopes in the world and in space. This includes all development stages: from generation of novel ideas and technologies, to the use of the latest standards in design and manufacturing, and ensuring top quality by rigorous integration and testing.

NOVA is a major supplier of scientific instruments for the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VTL), with instruments like: MATISSE, SPHERE, X-shooter, VISIR, SINFONI, MIDI. Instruments for the Isaac Newton Group (ING) at La Palma include: Wyffos, WEAVE and HARPS3. Telescope developments include: Meerlicht and the BlackGEM telescope array at ESO La Silla. We also develop space instrumentation, of which the most notably is the Mid InfraRed Instrument MIRI for the James Webb Space Telescope (NASA ESA JWST).

Our focus for the coming period is to develop instruments for the Extremely Large Telescope (ESO ELT). This includes the thermal infrared instrument METIS, a global collaboration where NOVA is the Primary Investigator institute. Other developments are: MICADO, MOSAIC and EPICS. With these instruments at the ELT, NOVA tries to solve the riddles of the universe: investigate the formation of stars and galaxies, determine properties of dark matter and dark energy, and characterize atmospheres of exoplanets.

Latest tweets

Burgemeester @JagerRikus van @gem_westerveld nam deze mooie nieuwjaarstoespraak o.a. bij ASTRON op!

Hij noemt o.a. ons nieuwe #WDL (, onze nieuwe directeur @astroTui en waardering voor de mensen met een afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt die bij ons werken.

Daily Image of the Week: Two ERC Starting Grants awarded to (space) weather research projects with the LOFAR radio telescope

Deadline for applications for our summer research proramme is 31 January 2022!

For all information see or the AAS website:

🎉We are proud! Two ERC Starting Grands awarded to ASTRON employees Brian Hare & Harish Vedantham!

One project will use @LOFAR to create detailed images of lightning, the other aims to detect space weather events & magnetic fields around exoplanets: