In December 2019, the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope was one of the first three ground stations to receive data from the ESA satellite OPS-SAT. Because of that, it received a certificate from ESA.
On 18th of December 2019 ESA launched the experimental mini satellite OPS-SAT, on board a Soyuz rocket. Like many experimental satellites, this satellite transmits data on frequencies reserved for amateur radio. That means that all amateur radio operators can receive, analyze, and optionally share this data with ESA. This is an advantage for ESA: in this way they have ground stations all over the globe.
To enthuse radio amateurs to downlink the OPS-SAT data, ESA organized a contest for downloading the first packets of data. A team consisting of Paul Boven, Cees Bassa, and Tammo Jan Dijkema used the Dwingeloo Telescope on 18th December 2019 to downlink the data, and won a certificate and a tour of the ESA ground station in Darmstadt. Of course, this was only possible thanks to all the CAMRAS volunteers who got the telescope operational again.
Because of its size, the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope is very sensitive and could detect the satellite already at an elevation of only 5 degrees above the horizon. To point the dish, among others the SatNOGS network was used, which facilitated the Dwingeloo observation to appear online immediately. Paul Boven later converted the recorded data to the format required for the contest.