Research & Innovation

Radio telescopes are used to observe our universe and to provide astronomers with detailed images and spectra. We use antenna technology to receive radio signals from the universe. There are different types of antennas: dishes like the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), and dipoles like the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). We require many antennas to get the sharpest images from very weak signals. Combining the signals from all antennas is called interferometry and requires electronic boards, photonic links, supercomputers and a lot of algorithms and software.

Compact Receivers

Receiver systems in radio astronomy consist of a number of components, starting with the antenna, via a number of discrete electronic components to the digital electronic boards.

High Performance Computing

A radio telescope produces a data stream for each antenna. Since we use up to hundreds of thousands of antennas, these data streams are processed in parallel.

Calibration and Imaging

Several data processing steps are necessary before data from a radio telescope such as LOFAR can be turned into a scientific image of the sky.

Science Data Centre

The SKA will generate more data than we have processed and analysed ever before. To make this possible, innovation in hardware, software and expertise is crucial.

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Daily image of the week (13-10): From an amateur Dwingeloo historian, we got a pile of scans of postcards featuring the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope, showing it in various stages of its professional period.

All systems are up and running again! 🎉

We are experiencing some technical issues with our web services like We hope to fix it as soon as possible.

Today marks Coming Out Day. ASTRON celebrates the fact that people should be free to openly express their gender identity and sexual orientation.