Space & Scientific Instrumentation: earth observation, laser-satellite communication, astronomy

From ground-breaking climate research and satellites for observational systems, to non-invasive medical research and semiconductor production: we have a lot to thank optical scientific instruments for, including their use in space technology. The Netherlands has a strong international position in the development and implementation of innovative and optical instruments for use in space and science.

Ever since its foundation, TNO has been active in the field of advanced optical instruments, and for over 50 years has been developing instruments for use in space, astronomy, scientific research and manufacturing industry. Examples of this work include the development of instruments for measuring the ozone layer (GOME and TROPOMI) and a space telescope (GAIA). The measuring instruments contribute to dealing with important social issues, spur on science and form the basis for hi-tech industry and job opportunities in the Netherlands.

50 years track record

Future prospects

Space plays a crucial role in the daily life of everyone on Earth. Satellites for communication, Earth observation and astronomy are an increasingly crucial part of our planet’s infrastructure. In close cooperation with industry, TNO Space & Scientific Instrumentation delivers  breakthrough technology for space and scientific instruments.

Kees Buijsrogge, Director Space & Scientific Instrumentation: “We do this to prevent air pollution and climate change, help our understanding of the universe, enable secure broadband connectivity and stimulate economic growth.”


“For more than 50 years we have been developing instruments with ingenious creativity that are able to deliver world-class performance. Over the years, dozens of satellites as well as ground-based telescopes have been equipped with systems that TNO has designed, built and tested. Our technology ranges from spectrometers for Earth observation to opto-mechanical instruments and other high-tech mission-critical space components for space science and optical communication applications.”


If you would like to know more about our Space & Scientific Instrumentation activities, please take a look at more examples of our work, or get in touch with us.

Would you like to know more about our Space & Scientific Instrumentation activities?

Take a look at more examples of our work, or get in touch with us!


New technology monitors air quality in cities

05 July 2019
TNO, Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands and S&T are taking a collaborative initiative to develop innovative technologies that cities around the world can use to monitor air quality. The project aims... Read more

The Netherlands develop hardware for gravitational wave detector

20 June 2019
The Netherlands are in the race for providing hardware to LISA, the first space observatory for gravitational waves, scheduled for launch in 2034. NWO institutes SRON and Nikhef have signed a contract... Read more

Airbus Netherlands and TNO partner for development of next-generation gigabit optical ground station

09 November 2018
At the inaugural event of the new Airbus production facility for space technology, Airbus Netherlands and TNO announced their cooperation for the development of a next-generation optical ground stations... Read more


Drs. Kees Buijsrogge

  • Space
  • Scientific instrumentation
  • Earth observation
  • Remote sensing
  • Optical Satellite Communication


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