ORB - Observatoire Royal de Belgique

The Royal Observatory of Belgium is a federal research institute, working under the aegis of the Belgian Federal Science Policy (BELSPO). The ORB research is mainly concentrated on Reference systems and geodynamics, astrometry and dynamics of celestial bodies, astrophysics and solar physics.

There are about 145 scientific staff at ORB. The Service (Operational Direction) “Reference Frames and Planetology” performs research on topics ranging space geodesy, Global Navigation Satellites Systems (GNSS), planetary science, Earth rotation, and time transfer. The Planetology part of the Operational Direction is heavily involved in planetary missions to terrestrial bodies of the solar system and outer solar system.

The scientists of the ROB Planetary group take active part in several missions including Mars Express, Venus Express, Cassini, BepiColombo, JUICE, Insight, Maven and ExoMars. They have responsibilities as co-I or co-PI level on several Mars missions including: MEx (MaRS), EXOMARS (AMELIA, DREAMS, NOMAD), INSIGHT (SEIS and REIS).


Backbone Infrastructure

  • A network, spanning 8 buildings, providing over 600 connections, including full wireless coverage.

  • The VMWare ESX server pool is used for hosting nearly 100 virtual servers. The choice of virtualization

    allows for a very reliable and flexible infrastructure.

  • There are 15 HPC servers are dedicated to high intensive scientific computations.

  • Two high speed and reliable file servers are used for hosting nearly 300 Tb of data for scientific projects

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