Astronomy & Operations

Our mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen. All departments work together so that our astronomers can make these discoveries. Our astronomers have involvement in many major investigations. They conduct research on both near and distant galaxies.

You will be working in a diverse team with many different backgrounds and nationalities, but you all have the drive to carry out the best research. You work with PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and the best staff astronomers of the country and the world.

As an astronomer, you use the best radio telescopes in the world, the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope and LOFAR. You are involved in important scientific projects.

The studies that can be performed are diverse. You can do research in the following fields:

  • Deep Fields
  • Compact Objects
  • Milky Way ISM
  • Nearby Galaxies
  • Clusters
  • Cosmic Magnetism
  • AGN’s
  • Gravitational Lenses
  • Cosmology

You are also involved in the development of the telescopes. Working closely with other departments within ASTRON is essential. E.g. you are involved with Science Support and/or the Radio Observatory.

Operations

Our Radio observatory handles the exploitation of our telescopes, LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) and WSRT (Westerbork Synthese Radio Telescope). Both telescopes are among the best radio telescopes in the world. Together with an international astronomical community we use the telescopes for outstanding scientific research.

You will work with approximately 35 professionals with a broad spectrum of expertise. The department is divided into the following groups:

  • Technical Operations & Maintenance
  • Software Support
  • Science Support

The WSRT is an important part of the European VLBI Network and the European Pulsar Timing Array. LOFAR is an international radio telescope and for this we have close cooperation with (among others):

  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Poland

In these countries there is an observation station. These stations perceive an integral part of the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT). LOFAR makes 'images' of unprecedented acuity and sensitivity.

At the Radio Observatory you can work on the maintenance of the mechanical and electrical infrastructure of the WSRT. Besides you can work on stations of the LOFAR telescope in the Netherlands and in other countries. You will also have an advisory and coaching role for the user groups. You will assist them with diverse issues and research projects.

Our telescopes are among the best of the world. We do everything to keep it that way and you will contribute to this. We continue to innovate and do further development of existing instruments. You will work closely with the R&D department but also with experts outside ASTRON.

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Vacancies

Upcoming vacancies

Systems Engineer

We are continuously developing new, cutting-edge instruments for radio astronomy and are working on major upgrades of our current telescopes. As a Systems Engineer, you will oversee the instrument development process.

SDC Software Engineer

For our ongoing Science Data Centre (SDC) development, we are seeking a software engineer to strengthen Team Rainbow, one of our highly esteemed scrum teams. At the SDC, we strive to maximize the scientific impact of our world-leading instrumentation portfolio.

LOFAR Software Engineer

For the continuous development of our LOFAR telescope, we are looking for a software engineer to strengthen one of our SCRUM teams.

Bell Burnell Fellow

Bell Burnell Fellow will represent and reflect all of ASTRON’s foundational values as it continues its 75 year leadership in radio astronomy discovery and innovation. The fellowship provides an outstanding opportunity for a scientist to pursue innovative research and development in an institute that spans the entire spectrum of radio astronomy expertise – from development, to operation, to science frontiers. 

Word from a staff member
Andre Gunst
Group leader
My work at ASTRON is very interesting! Mainly because I can solve many challenging and complex problems. To solve these problems, I use the latest technologies.
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@astron

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