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.

Latest tweets

Congratulations to our colleague Harish Vedantham who has been awarded a @NWONieuws #Vidi grant for his project e-MAPS! 🥳 With e-MAPS Harish will use @LOFAR to answer the question: what determines the magnetic field of an exoplanet?💫

Congratulations @AstroJoeC on winning the Louise Webster prize with the discovery of Apep, a unique binary star system with the hottest stars in the Universe.

What does the start of construction of @SKAO mean for the Netherlands? Michiel van Haarlem: "we are due to take on work in the following areas: software for the calibration of data and the creation of deep sky images, " read the full interview here:

Another impressive result for LOFAR! An international team of astronomers from @UniLeiden & @mediainaf discovered a galaxy that seems to be wagging it's tail, a tail of 2,5 million light years long! 💫