Antennas, radio frequencies & micro waves

The Radio Group develops systems that efficiently receive and transform electromagnetic waves from the Universe to electronical signals suitable for computer processing.


The Computing Group focuses on the measurements that are needed to transform the digital signal of the telescopes into astronomical data. This concerns enormous amounts of data: terabytes per second! Therefore we work with supercomputers, fast glass fiber networks and innovative storage systems.

Operations & maintenance

The observers are part of the Radio Observatory (RO). They are responsible for everything concerning our telescopes. They are responsible for the observations with the Westerbork Synthese Radio Telescope (WSRT) and the LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) telescope.

Radio astronomy

The main drive for our astronomers is curiosity. Curiosity about the structure and history of the universe, the galaxies in it and the stars in it. Our astronomers engage on a daily basis in the development of ideas and theories. Besides they engage in the design, construction and use of (radio) telescopes and publishing the results.

Signal processing

The mission of the digital signal processing group is to unveil the mysteries of the universe through the use of advanced digital systems. The goal of these systems is to retrieve astronomical information from large quantities of data. The data and the process of signal processing is so comprehensive, we develop these systems ourselves (a kind of computer).

System integration

Within the Research & Development department we have the System Design & Integration (SD&I)-group. SD&I works on the translation of astronomical requirements into technical requirements. This is important in developing modern, advanced telescopes.

Technical Support

The Technical Support Group (TSG) provides support to the development- and engineering groups. TSG helps in the realization of the technical projects. TSG is a useful partner in many project teams and projects. They have wide practical expertise and experience. Besides they have unique powerful in house facilities.

Astronomical Support

Our astronomical support group supports the astronomers and observers. The group is an important link between the internal processes of the observatory and with the external community of astronomers. The group is responsible for the optimization of scientific output in both instruments as our radio telescopes.


The group covers the mechanical design of telescopes and instruments. Current radio telescopes, often consist of large numbers of sensors. So our mechanics group has extensive knowledge and experience in industrial design. Besides they have a lot of experience in the design of cost effective production of large numbers of telescopes. That includes the strength and stiffness calculations.

Administration & Secretarial

Because ASTRON consists of four divisions each division of has its own secretarial department. That is why we have different administrative and secretarial functions. Administrative and secretarial functions support both the departments as the head of an department. We also have secretaries for our management.

Facility management

Our facilities department is responsible for our company facilities. The facilities department has a supporting role in ASTRON. Because they provide all necessary facilities, all of the staff can do their work well. Among the responsibilities of the department are the canteen, reception, events, warehouse and security. In addition to our office, we have a guest house, a kind of mini hotel with ten rooms.

Finance, planning and control

The department Finance, Planning & Control (FP&C) handles the financial administration, purchases and the planning and control of the organisation.  The department includes the employees of Finance, Purchasing and Planning Control. Finance staff take care of the complete financial administration of ASTRON. This includes budgets and financial statements. They also give advise about financial issues. Besides they perform services for other institutes.

HR and Communications

The Human recourses department has several responsibilities. The department is responsible for  our HR-policy and the implementation hereof. Besides the department gives advice and support to supervisors and employees on diverse HR-instruments, HR-policy and other HR matters.


ICT is very important for us, we use many computer systems, networks, databases and software every day. It is important for us that this always works. Our IT department ensures that our information and communication technologies are in order.

Word of a staff member
Tammo Jan Dijkema
Scientific software engineer

The work at ASTRON fits perfectly with my studies Scientific Computing at the interface between physics, mathematics and computer science. I work, among other things, on the mathematics to perform faster calculations on physical and astronomical super computers. This allows the astronomers to perform their calculations more efficient. The location of the ASTRON headquarters amazing! […]

Read more

RT @FrankNu What can the @ASTRON_NL Communications Team (ACT for short, because we need more acronyms in #astronomy) do for the scientists and engineers at ASTRON? @irisnijman explains 👍🏻…

More tweets