Nieke Roos
28 March

Astron in Dwingeloo has launched the Wireless Data Lab (WDL). Through this living lab, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy will make its knowledge and facilities in the field of wireless data transfer available to the business community and other institutions. “With the Wireless Data Lab, we close the gap between science and industry,” says Ronald Halfwerk, technology transfer officer of the WDL. “We think along with entrepreneurs and help them to test the wireless applications developed by them.”

Astron Lores anechoic room
The antenna test room in Dwingeloo. Credit: Astron

The test lab is right in between a development lab and an accredited laboratory for measurements and research in the field of wireless technology and quality control. “The WDL is well suited for the early phase, where the question is: ‘Can we invest safely?’, or ‘Is our idea technically feasible?’ without having to pay high costs up front for certification and facility use,” explains project leader Nico Ebbendorf. “That’s why we like to welcome to our lab companies that are in their product development phase.”

“Many companies don’t realize how accessible Astron is, that you can knock on its door and have access to people in various fields of expertise, whom you can employ to provide support in a variety of projects and problems. They can relate well to physical processes at companies,” notes Dion Kant, founder and CEO of Hunenet. “For example, we referred Hiber to Astron, where this company was able to perform EMC measurements – in collaboration with ASTRON staff – on their newly developed cubesat.”