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Directors of regional Dutch radio & TV stations tour ASTRON

Submitter: Femke Boekhorst
Description: On 10 October, directors of the regional radio & TV stations in the Netherlands (Rtv Noord, Rtv Drenthe etc.) visited ASTRON. Every year one of these directors organises a visit for the others so they can meet to talk business but also to relax and do something fun and interesting. This year, it was Rtv Drenthe's turn and the director, Dink Binnendijk, wanted to do something different for a change, instead of the typical Drenthe-visit to the 'hunebedden'.

ASTRON was not completely unfamiliar to this group and especially Rtv Drenthe was of course already well informed about all our activities since Drenthe is the province in which ASTRON is located. After a presentation by astronomer Erwin de Blok about ASTRON and science, the group toured through the labs and along the UniBoard demo (top left in the picture), where Gijs Schoonderbeek explained about this high speed signal processing board.

They continued to the brand new control room (bottom right in the picture) where Roberto Pizzo, head of Science Support, explained them about operations with the Westerbork and LOFAR telescope. Surprisingly, no tough questions were fired at us, which might be due to the fact that they were a bit overwhelmed by all the information.

The tour concluded with a visit to the Westerbork telescope where astronomer Roy Smits guided them along the control room, the telescope and the EMBRACE radome. EMBRACE is pathfinder technology for the next generation radio telescope the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and demonstrates the design readiness of the phased array technology for SKA.

The group enjoyed their visit and we hope that they will return in the future and of course write some beautiful articles about our institute!
Copyright: ASTRON
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