Space & Scientific Instrumentation: optical instruments for space and science

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

‘TNO has the ambition to work with industry, users and other knowledge institutions to develop optical instruments and the related operating and information systems’, says programme director Henri Werij. We have unique expertise in optics, optomechanics, optomechatronics and radar technology which enables us to develop extremely complicated, accurate and stable instruments for use in extreme conditions. We also model, validate and integrate the data which are generated as a result.


The information provided by these instruments helps governments to tackle issues related to climate, energy, mobility, peace and security more effectively. The information allows the business world to develop new services and produce instruments (and the satellites to go with them), thereby providing high-quality jobs in the Netherlands. ‘This is our ambition, and we will be working hard to realise it in the years to come’, says Werij with enthusiasm.


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.


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Drs. Kees Buijsrogge

  • Optics
  • Photonics
  • Optics jobs
  • Sensors
  • Optical engineering

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