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NWO Institute ASTRON: Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy

ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is an institute that is part of NWO-I.
ASTRON is the Dutch research Institute that makes discoveries in radio astronomy happen. That requires not just astronomy research but also world-class radio telescopes and ongoing technological innovations. ASTRON operates and improves two well-known observatories in the Netherlands, which belong to the best radio telescopes in the world: the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and LOFAR, the Low Frequency Array. Further, ASTRON leads the coordination of the Dutch participation in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope, which is being constructed in South Africa and Australia.

ASTRON plays an important role internationally. The institute is a world leader in the development of new instruments for astronomy. The technology required for this is developed by ASTRON in collaboration with industry, as a result of which innovation in the field of telecommunication, security and data processing are also realised. An important part of the Wireless Internet also originates from the radio astronomy research of ASTRON.


On 23 April 1949, the Stichting Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg (SRZM) [Foundation Radio Waves from the Sun and Milky Way] was established. SRZM built and used the first radio telescope in Dwingeloo. In the 1960s, this predecessor of ASTRON started on the development of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT). ASTRON received its current name at the end of the 1980s. In 2010, LOFAR was opened, which is currently the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world and has stations in many European countries. In 2023, the LOFAR ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) was formed: A European organization that coordinates the exploitation and improvement of LOFAR. The LOFAR ERIC closely collaborates with ASTRON and has its  statutory seat at ASTRON in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands.

Director ASTRON

Prof. Jessica Dempsey

Team lead of communications at ASTRON

Frank Nuijens

Contact details

Institute ASTRON
Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy
+31 521 595100
Visiting address:
Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4
NL-7991 PD Dwingeloo 



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