Site Preparation Board for Einstein Telescope meets in Maastricht

Written by Gieljan de Vries

From 23 to 25 January 2023, experts from across Europe met in the Dutch city of Maastricht to discuss preparations for the Einstein Telescope. Their meeting covered topics from soil surveys and noise measurements to technical designs and legal aspects of the construction of this groundbreaking observatory for gravitational waves.


The Einstein Telescope will be a world-class underground observatory to measure gravitational waves. Those invisible ripples in the fabric of the space are a revolutionary new way to study our universe. Gravitational waves provide information that cannot be seen with ‘standard’ telescopes, which primarily look at electromagnetic waves such as ordinary visible light .

In the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, researchers, companies and governments are working together to make the strongest possible bid book to host Einstein Telescope in the border region of the three countries. In addition to this Euregio Meuse-Rhine, Italy’s Sardinia is also considering a candidature.

European level

In order to coordinate the various activities around the future observatory and arrive at unified specifications, work on the Einstein Telescope is ongoing at the European level. “We want to make sure that in Europe we cooperate as much as possible to prepare the Einstein Telescope,” said professor Andreas Freise at the start of the workshop in Maastricht. Freise (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Nikhef) became European project director of the international Einstein Telescope collaboration in 2022.

The workshop covered topics from soil studies and work on a tunnelling requirements package, to studies on planning and legal aspects. The participants – 40 live and 30 online – shared information about the different candidate sites and made plans for follow-up studies.

Co-organiser Frank Linde (Nikhef) looks back on the meeting with satisfaction: “It is important that – as with the previous workshop in Sardinia – experts in the field of geology and civil engineering were present again. Those are precisely the people that we need in order to get an objective picture of the qualities of the various sites that want to host the Einstein Telescope.”