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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Word from a staff member
Boudewijn Hut
Junior commissioning engineer
During my graduation project for the study of astronomy, I had my first encounter with ASTRON. At that time I got the chance to make an interesting thesis I seized the opportunity immediately! After my studies I started to work at ASTRON.
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