| In 2013 SpaceNed (the Dutch association of space companies and institutes) started to collaborate with the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA). One of the members of SpaceNed and partner in the NCLE project, ISIS - Innovative Solutions in Space in Delft, participated in several SpaceNed - CSA bilateral meetings. On invitation of ISIS and SpacNed, a few members of CSA visited several companies and institutes in the Netherlands, including ASTRON. The ASTRON visit was planned for Wednesday, October 26th and it was a pleasure to welcome four CSA members from different entities of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
Michael Wise, Head of the Astronomy Group, informed our guests on ASTRON's mission and activities, our astronomy programme and current and near-future radio telecopes, including LOAR, Apertif and the SKA. And of course our activities aimed at establishing a regional science data centre for the SKA. In his presentation Albert-Jan Boonstra, Programme manager technical research and Scientific Director of the Dome project, highlighted the Research and Development activities of ASTRON. He also gave a short introduction on some of the large international projects ASTRON is involved in. Especially, the NCLE project aimed at developing a low-frequency receiver scientific payload for the Chinese Chang'e 4 mission drew their attention.
Our guests enjoyed the tour through the R&D laboratory facilities, the tour at JIVE by Zsolt Paragi - Head of User Support, and the tour at the Dwingeloo telescope. In discussions on the comparative strengths of the scientific and technology programmes of both counties, parties agreed on the benefit of mutual scientific collaboration, and are looking forward to exploring possibilities for this. With new impressions our Chinese guests continued their trip for a visit to Airbus Defence and Space in Leiden.