The Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) is a Belgian government research institute organized in four operational directorates. These are Reference Systems and Planetology, Seismology and Gravimetry, Astronomy and Astrophysics, and finally Solar Physics and Space Weather. In total, ROB employs about 180 people. The operational directorate dedicated to solar physics and space weather (SIDC) is a group of 42 members, including scientists, engineers and support staff. The research focusses on various aspects of observational solar physics, in particular on imaging observations of the solar atmosphere from the ground and from space, and on solar-terrestrial physics. The SIDC infrastructure includes a radio-astronomy observatory (Humain) and a dedicated building for ground-based solar observing in which the Uccle Solar Equatorial Table (USET) is mounted with 4 operational telescopes.
These telescopes (white light and Halpha) are operating on a daily basis and support the “SILSO” World Data Centre activities. In space, SIDC is PI of two instruments on board the PROBA2 mission: SWAP, a full Sun EUV imager, and LYRA, a high-cadence radiometer. It is also PI institute for the upcoming two-body coronagraph ASPIICS on the PROBA-3 mission and of EUI, the suite of imagers on board Solar Orbiter which contains a high resolution EUV imager. SIDC is also coinvestigator institute of SOHO/EIT and was program leader of special high-cadence operations. ROB hosts a SDO data centre, which is the European root for distribution of SDO/AIA data, and whenever necessary, SDO/HMI data. Recently it became a Virtual Solar Observatory server in order to alleviate the load on the US server.
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Royal Observatory of Belgium
Ringlaan 3, B1180 Brussels, Belgium