Skip to main content

What is BIRA-IASB?

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian federal scientific research institute. Its main tasks are research and public service in space aeronomy, which is the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space.

BIRA-IASB studies:

  • the atmospheres of solar system bodies
  • the impact of the Sun, nature and mankind on atmospheric changes


It is the only Center of Knowledge in Belgium that has the required competences to elaborate all elements of a space mission to perform a complete study of an aeronomic problem:

  • the formulation of research objectives
  • the consequent instrument and space mission design
  • the derivation of satellite data products, their validation and geophysical exploitation, including modeling and service development

All our activities have one goal in common: the broadening of our knowledge of the atmospheres of celestial bodies. Improved knowledge is indispensable to better inform the citizen and policymakers and to find answers to the societal challenges concerning the natural environment we live in.

BIRA-IASB in numbers


Since its creation the 25 November 1964 the BIRA-IASB has been very active in research and public service in space aeronomy. We have come a long way: rocket, balloon, satellite, groundbased station, space station: a small history of aeronomy at BIRA-IASB.

Know-how clusters

BIRA-IASB is very strongly anchored in the following centres of expertise: