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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.

Diversity & Sustainability

ASTRON is committed to achieving a fair, welcoming, and sustainable work environment for all.


Met onze radiotelescopen nemen wij de meest zwakke signalen uit het heelal waar. Daardoor zijn zij kwetsbaar voor elektromagnetische storing. Met het tijdig treffen van de juiste maatregelen kan storing worden voorkomen.

Wireless Data Lab

Draadloze techniek lijkt vanzelfsprekend, maar de ontwikkeling ervan gaat niet vanzelf. Daarom hebben we bij ASTRON een proeftuin ingericht; het Wireless Data Lab.

Making discoveries
in radio astronomy

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

ERC Advanced Grant for research into the origin of fast radio bursts from space

Jason Hessels, Professor of Observational High-Energy Astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam and Chief Astronomer at ASTRON, has been awarded a €3.5 million ERC Advanced Grant to search for the origin of fast radio bursts. Among other things, the research money will be used to develop new hardware to set up a coordinated network of European radio telescopes to study repeating FRBs in more detail.

Published by the editorial team, 30 March 2023

Animation explaining the workings of LOFAR

We have created an animation, which briefly explains the workings of our LOFAR radio telescope.

Published by the editorial team, 23 March 2023

NAC 2023 to be held in Leeuwarden in May

The 78th edition of the Nederlandse Astronomen Conferentie (NAC) will be held this year in the Westcord WTC hotel in Leeuwarden from 15 to 17 May.

Published by the editorial team, 6 March 2023

ASTRON astronomy groups focus on LOFAR and SKA

Recently, the astronomy group within the A&O department of ASTRON went through a reformation: instead of several focus groups, it now consists of two groups: the LOFAR Science Group and the SKA Science Group. The LOFAR Science Group is led by André Offringa, the SKA Science Group by Joe Callingham.

Published by the editorial team, 21 February 2023

Major upgrade of International LOFAR Telescope approved

Michiel Brentjens wins Teacher of the Year 2022 award

Jessica Dempsey nominated for Drenthe Woman in the Media Award

People of ASTRON: Klaas Kliffen

ASTRON involved in European consortium to develop next-gen technologies for radio astronomy infrastructures


ERC Advanced Grant for Jason Hessels - EuroFlash: exploring the origins of fast radio bursts using a network of European radio telescopes

© Futselaar / Hessels / ASTRON

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) present astronomers with a compelling mystery: what is creating these brilliant but ephemeral flashes that travel billions of lightyears before reaching Earth? Whatever is producing the FRBs, it requires an extreme energy density and the conditions for `laser-like’ coherent radio emission to be generated. While recent discoveries show that magnetars are a leading contender, the heterogeneous properties of the known FRB sample strongly suggest that there are multiple FRB source types. If so, then we have multiple mysterious FRB origins to uncover.

Due to the great interest in solving this puzzle, enormous progress has been made in recent years. There are now hundreds of known FRB sources, dozens of which repeat, and some of which have been localised to their exact galactic neighbourhoods. The FRB sample continues to grow at a rapid pace of several new sources per day, thanks to new wide-field radio telescopes. Studying these sources with dedicated follow-up is challenging because they emit sporadically and are only visible for milliseconds or less. At the same time, by casting an even wider net we are likely to discover new types of FRB-like signals.

With EuroFlash, a recently awarded ERC Advanced grant, I will create a coordinated network of European radio telescopes operating over a broad range of radio frequencies, providing high sensitivity and observing cadence, and achieving the best-possible localisations. I will use this network to perform a world-leading, systematic study of repeating FRBs, to understand their progenitor(s) and their relation to the apparently one-off FRB sources. I will also make a novel exploration of the parameter space of short-duration radio transients by exploiting the large field-of-view of LOFAR2.0 and commensal observations to find new sources. In doing so, I aim to discover new types of astrophysical phenomena that probe the extremes of the Universe.

ASTRON daily image.

Applied RF technology course

Mon 03 Apr 2023 - Thu 06 Apr 2023

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


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