• Space at NLR

    The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) in the Netherlands will make the exploration and exploitation of space more effective, sustainable and efficient. We support industry as they strive to secure leading positions in the global market for upstream and downstream space products and services. Upstream space includes the technologies that allow satellites to function optimally in space. Downstream space focuses on availability and use of satellite data for provision of services to a variety of users.

    Space Technology

    NLR has comprehensive knowledge of space systems engineering, including mission analysis and attitude and orbit control of satellites. This expertise allows NLR to develop and test small satellite platforms. NLR has a Space System Simulation Facility for developing, simulating and testing space and ground segment. In addition, NLR has various engineering tools and test facilities required for supporting the development of space subsystems and components.

    NLR has specific expertise in thermal control on component and subsystem level, including the development of mechanically pumped cooling loops with flight heritage in space on-board the International Space Station.

    Another domain of expertise is instrument data processing avionics used aboard earth observation satellites. This hardware and software allows large amounts of data to be processed and transported to Earth efficiently.

    NLR develops and tests space structures, whereby the focus is on the use of lightweight materials, such as composites, and the use of laser additive manufacturing to produce reliable structures at lower costs.

  • Space Applications

    The ‘downstream’ market is growing rapidly due to the increasing guaranteed availability of satellite systems and the information that is made available via satellites. Applications concern telecommunications and earth observation, as well as satellite navigation.

    Satellite navigation is based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS, EGNOS and Galileo. NLR has a wealth of experience in the testing and verification of satellite navigation systems, with special focus on the accuracy, reliability and safety of applications. We run and develop a facility for monitoring and analyzing the static and dynamic performance of satellite navigation systems.

    There is growing interest in earth observation data among end-users in numerous sectors including area’s such as agro-food sector, energy, water management and security. NLR has the tools and expertise for handling, processing, and analysing earth observation data. Herewith we provide added value to companies that develop applications using satellite data.


    The National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) is the independent knowledge center for aerospace in the Netherlands. We identify, develop and apply advanced knowledge and technology in the aerospace domain. NLR’s strategic ambition is to be the Dutch government’s most obvious partner of choice for dealing with aerospace-related matters. We are also committed to be the most competitive knowledge organisation for the aerospace sector. Our activities are relevant to society, market-oriented and carried out on a non-profit basis. We thus strengthen the innovativeness, competitiveness and effectiveness of government and business.

    For more information about NLR, please visit here.