Technical development

Onsala Space Observatory is active in developing technologies, components, instruments and methods for radio astronomy and Earth science observations.

Advanced Receiver Development

The Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD) is a research and engineering group working on Terahertz technologies and instrumentation. Here we consider Terahertz frequencies to include millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths (at frequencies 100 GHz and above) as well frequencies above 1000 GHz. GARD research activities are focused on superconducting electronics, material science and thin-film processing. The results and experience from this research facilitate the development and building of state-of-the-art instruments used in radio astronomy and environmental science. The GARD expertise allows the unit to be an active participant in delivering instruments and receiver systems some of the world’s largest astronomy observatories such as ALMA and APEX. In addition, the GARD unit also has a major role supporting the operations of the Onsala Space Observatory National infrastructure at APEX; including both receiver maintenance and the delivery of new state-of-the art receivers to the telescope. GARD is located at Chalmers Campus Johanneberg in Gothenburg.


Read more about receiver development at GARD

Vincent Desmaris
  • Head of Unit, Onsala Space Observatory, Space, Earth and Environment

Electronics Laboratory

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 designing equipment for the Square Kilometre Array, SKA.

Electronics laboratory
Lars Pettersson
Email:, Phone: +46 31-772 5568


Roger Hammargren
  • Head of Unit, Onsala Space Observatory, Space, Earth and Environment