Technical development

Onsala Space Observatory is active in developing technologies, components, instruments and methods for radio astronomy and Earth science observations. 
The Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD) develops Terahertz instrumentation. GARD research focuses on superconducting electronics, material science and thin-film processing. The results and experience from the research activities facilitate development and building of state-of-the-art instruments used in radio astronomy and environmental science. GARD has developed and built the Swedish Heterodyne Facility Instrument (SHFI) for the APEX telescope in Chile. SHFI is used for spectroscopic observations in four frequency bands between 211 GHz and 1.39 THz. GARD has also developed, and is involved in the production of, receiver cartridges for ALMA Band 5 (163-211 GHz). These receivers will give ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submilliter Array in Chile, the possibility to observe, e.g., the emission from water molecules at 183 GHz and from C+ ions at large cosmological distances. GARD is located at Chalmers Campus Johanneberg in Gothenburg.
Receiver systems for radio astronomy and Earth sciences are also developed by the Electronics Laboratory located at the observatory in Onsala, often in cooperation with GARD. In particular, the electronics laboratory develops and services receivers and other equipment for the telescopes and Earth science instruments at the Onsala site. The laboratory has taken part in prototyping and developed the water vapour receivers for ALMA, and is involved in two of the consortia designing equipment for the Square Kilometre Array, SKA.


Group for advanced receiver development (GARD)
Victor Belitsky
Email:, Phone: +46 31-772 1893, Web site: GARD (at Earth and Space Sciences)
Electronics laboratory
Miroslav Pantaleev
Email:, Phone: +46 31-772 5555

Published: Tue 20 Aug 2013. Modified: Thu 16 Oct 2014