Opening Space Campus Noordwijk Avatar

Last Monday 11 November, the Space Campus Noordwijk Avatar (SCN Avatar), the augmented and virtual reality knowledge and development centre, was opened with great interest.

The opening was carried out by Mayor Jon Hermans-Vloedbeld together with Commissioner Adri Blom-Lemstra and director of Space Campus Noordwijk, Esther Peters. After a word of welcome from Director SCN Avatar Michiel Vullings and explanations from all three ladies, the wall was pushed aside and SCN Avatar was officially opened.

The knowledge and development centre is located on the Space Campus and was established to stimulate the implementation and use of Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) for civil and military space processes. It is the place where industrial and institutional parties can work together on the development of AR and VR tools and services and where Dutch parties offer added value in the field of AR and VR by sharing their knowledge, expertise or commitment. The products, services and applications developed in SCN Avatar will be made commercially available to the international Space community. 

Michiel Vullings, director of SCN Avatar, is enthusiastic: "This centre on the Space Campus enables us to accelerate the development of functional virtual and augmented reality applications for the space industry. It is precisely by working together that we can maximise the impact of our developments". NLR's Michel Keuning joins in. "This stimulates cooperation between research institutes and commercial parties. We expect to be able to achieve the first concrete results by the middle of next year," he says.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is on the rise. There are also unlimited possibilities for space travel. Hence the initiative Space Campus Noordwijk Avatar, which offers Dutch parties the place and means to jointly develop applications and services.

SCN Avatar partners

The initiative is a collaboration between various parties: ATG Europe, Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre, RHEA and TU Delft. The municipality of Noordwijk supports the initiative with a financial contribution of €100,000.

ATG Europe

With more than 200 employees focused on engineering, technology and product development, ATG Europe is one of the largest space companies in the Netherlands. The company has organised its activities into several divisions and business units, each with a different focus in the industry. Within its business unit ATG VirtualLab, the company strives to optimise engineering processes through the use of virtual and augmented reality. ATG Europe strongly believes in digitisation and virtualisation as a way to increase insight into project data, reduce risks and, as a result, drastically reduce costs.

Royal NLR

NLR - Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre is the knowledge organisation for applied research for the aerospace industry and the connecting link between science, business and government, in the Netherlands and internationally. With their knowledge and expertise, they are one of the driving forces behind the aerospace sector. NLR's mission is to make the world of transport safer, more sustainable, more efficient and more effective. Doing so they include state-of-the-art research facilities such as field labs, simulators and wind tunnels. NLR has had a deep-rooted desire to continue to innovate for 100 years. Together with their partners, they are shaping the exciting world of tomorrow. NLR has more than 600 employees, spread across the branches in Amsterdam, Marknesse, Schiphol and Noordwijk.


With more than 400 engineers and scientists worldwide, Rhea is a leading provider of technical solutions for the space industry. In the Netherlands, Rhea is known as a developer of solutions for competitor engineering. Optimising the production of complex technical products is one of Rhea's main areas of expertise. The company has a team of engineers dedicated to competitor design. The company is the creator of the open-source Concurrent Design Platform (CDP) ®, the software that facilitates the implementation of the methodology. Rhea supports ESA in maintaining the Concurrent Design Facility at ESTEC.

TU Delft

TU Delft is an internationally acclaimed technical university. TU Delft's starting point is that education, research and valorisation are closely linked. TU Delft's space activities are collected in the Delft Space Institute: research into Space Robotics, Distributed Space Systems and Sensing from Space are the focus areas. At TU Delft, various faculties are working on AR / VR and it is integrated into many subjects, such as smart production and system engineering. Within the TU Delft there is also the VR Zone of the New Media Center. The VR Zone helps students, teachers and researchers to use, build and explore VR in education and research.

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