Onsala Space Observatory

The Swedish National Infrastructure for Radio Astronomy

Onsala Space Observatory (OSO), the Swedish National Infrastructure for Radio Astronomy, provides scientists with equipment to study the Earth and the rest of the Universe. We operate several radio telescopes in Onsala, 45 km south of Göteborg, and take part in international projects. The observatory is a geodetic fundamental station. Examples of facilities and activities:

  • The 20 m and 25 m telescopes in Onsala: Studies of the birth and death of stars, and of molecules in the Milky Way and other galaxies. 
  • The LOFAR station in Onsala: One part of an international network of antennas for studies of, e.g., pulsars and the early history of the Universe.
  • Onsala Twin Telescopes: Two large radio telescopes for geodesy. 
  • VLBI: Telescopes in different countries are linked together for better resolution ("sharper images") and for measurements of the Earth. The 20 m and 25 m telescopes and the Onsala Twin Telescopes are part of internaitonal VLBI networks.
  • SKA: Developing technology for the world's largest radio telescope.
  • APEX: Radio telescope in Chile for sub-millimetre waves. Research about everything from planets to the structure of the Universe.
  • ALMA: Using and developing the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile.
  • Earth sciences: Radio telescopes (VLBI), Global Navigations Satellite Systems (GNSS), gravimeters, tide gauges and radiometers are used to measure, e.g., Earth's rotation, movements in Earth's crust, sea level, and water vapour and other gases in the atmosphere. 
  • Time keeping: Two hydrogen maser clocks and one cesium clock contribute to establishing the official Swedish time and international time.
  • SALSA: Small radio telescopes in Onsala for educational purposes.
  • Receiver development: Laboratories for development of sensitive radio receivers.

Onsala Space Observatory is hosted by Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology, and is operated on behalf of the Swedish Research Council​. The observatory was founded in 1949 by professor Olof Rydbeck.  


Professor John Conway, email: john.conway@chalmers.se, phone: +46 31 772 5503 

Steering committee

Jan-Eric Sundgren, chairman​
Carole Mundell, Department of Physics, University of Bath, UK
Daniella Thaller, Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, Germany
Garrelt Mellema, Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University
Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology
Merja Tornikoski, Metsähovi Radio Observatory, Aalto University, Finland
Olga Bottner, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University

In addition, John Conway, director of Onsala Space Observatory, and Eva Wirström, deputy director of Onsala Space Observatory, participates in the Steering Committee meetings. Eva also acts as Committee secretary.


Page manager Published: Tue 24 Aug 2021.