This organization with headquarters in Dwingeloo is primarily funded by NWO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) and charged with providing and maintaining instrumentation and facilities for the Netherlands university astronomers. ASTRON operates the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT); the Dwingeloo 25m Radio Telescope has been closed down. Among other things, ASTRON is presently also developing and building the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). In addition ASTRON acts as the host institute for the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE).
ASTRON was formed in the eighties when the then SRZM (Stichting voor Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg) merged with the then separate small Stichting ASTRON, the organization for allocating astronomy grants. SRZM was founded by Professors Oort in Leiden and Minnaert in Utrecht shortly after the Second World War to build and operate the Dwingeloo and then the Westerbork telescopes. Its headquarters and workshops were moved from Leiden to Dwingeloo during the early seventies.
The Director of the Stichting ASTRON is Harvey Butcher and the Adjunct Director is Eugene de Geus - who started his career as a Leiden graduate. ASTRON is governed by a Bestuur (Chair, Thijs van de Hulst, Groningen). For Leiden, George Miley is a member of the Bestuur.