The Royal Observatory of Belgium ( is a Belgian federal research institute working under the aegis of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. Its scientific tasks consist of both fundamental research as well as scientific services, with a special focus on long-term continuity and stewardship of historical data sets. The activities of the Observatory are funded through competitively gained ‘soft’ money (projects, currently making up about 50% of the budget) and a stable government contribution. Project money largely originates from competitive tendering in response to Open Calls from national (BELSPO, FWO, FNRS) and European (EU, ESA) funding agencies. Challenges in space and Earth sciences require the sharing of data and resources at both global and local scales. This cannot be achieved without well-organized and sustained cooperation between international and national agencies and networks. Virtually all activities at the Royal Observatory of Belgium are framed in international collaborations. Since 2010, the Royal Observatory consists of 4 Operational directorates (ODs): “Reference Systems and Planetology”, “Seismology and Gravimetry”, “Astronomy and Astrophysics” and “Solar Physics and Space Weather”. The research in these Operational Directorates lays the foundation for a wide range of scientific services to the scientific community as well as the general public. ORB is also responsible for integration of its science themes in the educational curriculum through the Planetarium of Brussels. The ORB has in total about 180 staff of which about 100 are researchers. 

Two ODs are involved in the current proposal: OD “Reference Systems and Planetology”, and OD “Solar Physics and Space Weather”. Both have a strong experience in monitoring of key aspects of Space Weather: the ionosphere, through a European network of GNSS stations and the solar activity through a series of ground-based and satellite observatories. Both groups have built up expertise in operational services derived from the scientific activities developed in house: ORB hosts the Regional Warning Centre (for ISES, the International Space Environment Service) and the Expert Service Centre for Solar Weather and the SSA Space Weather Coordination Centre (for ESA/SSA, the Space Situational Awareness Program of the European Space Agency). ORB is one of the three Belgian Federal institutes, which created the Solar Terrestrial Center of Excellence, a common research program devoted to the impact of Solar activity on planet geospace environment. STCE is part, since 2018, of PECASUS, one of the three global space weather service providers for ICAO.