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!


TNO delivers optical module for Sentinel-5 space mission

29 July 2020
Today TNO becomes the first party to deliver an optical module to German Airbus Defence & Space which is assembling the Sentinel-5 satellite instrument. The aim of Sentinel-5 is to accurately monitor... Read more

TNO has signed a contract with ESA to start Phase 2 of TOmCAT

02 July 2020
TNO has signed a contract with ESA to demonstrate cutting-edge optical communication technologies for future terabit-per-second telecom satellites. The TOmCAT project (Terabit Optical Communication Adaptive... Read more

TANGO satellite: monitoring greenhouse gas emissions

10 June 2020
The newly proposed TANGO satellite mission can contribute by offering global, independent monitoring of major sources of anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

TNO Space & Astronomy making advances in scientific instrumentation

18 May 2020
Despite the Coronavirus crisis, the TNO team working on astronomy technologies is busier than ever. We are realizing our strategy to enable scientists to understand the universe, with our work on the... Read more

Gigabits from space – TNO and Hyperion commercialise Ground Detector

07 May 2020
Sending a lot of data at high speed is one thing – receiving it, another. A Dutch solution is now available for the global laser communication market. TNO, the Netherlands Organization for applied scientific... Read more


Drs. Kees Buijsrogge

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


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