SRON’s mission is to bring about breakthroughs in international space research
Therefore the institute develops pioneering technology and advanced space instruments, and uses them to pursue fundamental astrophysical research, Earth science and exoplanetary research. As national expertise institute SRON gives counsel to the Dutch government and coordinates - from a science standpoint - national contributions to international space missions. SRON stimulates the implementation of space science in our society.
Science and technology
The SRON institute is developing towards an organization with two main science lines (astrophysics and atmospheres) with coherent focus allowing the institute to further strengthen its scientific position in these fields. SRON's technology programme focuses on contributions to performance-critical technologies and to the conception and development of flight instrumentation. The chosen science-technology combinations take full advantage of SRON's current strong position and allow the institute to be flexible in responding to opportunities to play a leading role in the international space-research arena in the coming decades. The institute is currently responding to changing funding boundary conditions by evolving to a more flexible and project-oriented organization with a smaller core team and a larger fraction of temporary externally funded staff to accommodate needs of separate projects. SRON aims to strengthen its ties with (technical) universities by increasing the number of joint appointments. The institute aims to strengthen collaborations with industry to realize flight instrumentation and it fosters transfer of knowledge to industry and the society at large.
National expertise institute of international repute
SRON has about 200 staff who are employed in the science groups of the 4 programme lines Astrophysics, Earth, Exoplanets, and Technology, in the 2 expertise groups Instrument science and Engineering, and in the General support group (please see Organization for further info).
Together they form a unique melting pot of top scientists and technologists who inspire each other to perform at their absolute best. Problems faced by scientists challenge sensor developers to construct increasingly more sensitive technology. Together with mechanical and electronic engineers they ultimately develop a scientific space instrument with an exceptional level of performance under the extreme conditions of space. The scientific breakthroughs made with such devices in turn inspire new research and new technology. This approach has enabled SRON to develop into a national expertise institute of international repute.
SRON is a part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).