Comm Blog

@DLR_de: Interactions on Twitter during German Aerospace Day 2009

02.03.2010 | posted by Henning Krause

The DLR Web Portal is indeed the most important tool in our online communication arsenal. Nevertheless, here at DLR Communication, over the last few years we have realised that we are not able to reach all potential communication partners on this platform. Therefore, we decided to go where those people were, for example, to the social media portals. We are also fully aware of the fact that communication is not a one-way street. We want to be contactable, to open a channel for feedback and to respond to what we are told. Twitter is an ideal medium for that purpose. read more

Three years as Chairman of DLR – a challenge every day

01.03.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

On 1 March 2007, I assumed the post of Chairman of the Management Board of the German Aerospace Center, DLR, and in doing so, embarked upon a personal change in career of unimagined and unexpected magnitude. The first three of five years in this post are now behind me and it is time to do something akin to drawing up a personal balance sheet, to prepare myself for the decisions and developments required in the future. read more

Aerospace technology – revolutionary or evolutionary?

01.03.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

At the Science and Technology Day at the Berlin-Brandenburg Science Academy (Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; BBAW), lectures were given on the subject of development in nature and technology. I was invited to present a paper dealing with evolution and revolution in aerospace technologies. This was, as my preparation showed me, a very exciting challenge indeed … read more

Energy question of the week: How can electricity be generated from hydrogen?

01.03.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Fuel cells are surely the most elegant way of converting energy-rich fuels into electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide or other exhaust gases if hydrogen is the type of fuel used. Back in 1838, the German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein successfully generated an electrical voltage from hydrogen and oxygen for the first time, using two platinum wires to accomplish this feat. Since then, many different types of fuel cells have been developed to a commercially marketable standard. What underlying principle do they all have in common? read more

Energy question of the week: How much electrical power can be harnessed from tides?

22.02.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Under the influence of the Moon's gravity, the water of Earth's oceans rises and falls twice a day. Powerful forces are at work all over the globe between every low and high tide – forces that can be harnessed to generate electrical power. Just how mature is the technology and what is the potential that tidal power stations could unleash? read more

Energy question of the week: are large hydroelectric power stations genuinely good for the environment?

15.02.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

After decades of planning, Belo Monte - the third largest hydroelectric power station in the world, will now be constructed in the Amazonas region of northern Brazil. When the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, IBAMA, approved the plan in early February, it was met with vociferous criticism from environmental conservationists and spokespersons for indigenous groups. So just how green are gigantic hydroelectric power stations really? read more

Kennedy Space Center; you can feel the breath and the tradition of spaceflight

08.02.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

I had planned to use the launch of the shuttle Endeavour with the European elements Node 3 and Cupola to intensify personal contacts with various participants in the space sector. The focus of our talks was on the current mission, of course, but they also addressed issues such as the procurement of Meteosat Third Generation and the Obama administration’s plan for space in the coming years, published a week ago. read more

Energy question of the week: How does one turn a T-shirt into a power station?

08.02.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Whenever the battery in a mobile phone, laptop or MP3 player goes flat, the desperate search for a power socket begins. A power source that everyone can carry with them at all times will provide more independence in the future – their own shirt. That your electronic equipment could ever be recharged by a piece of fabric does sound rather like a fairy tale. But is the 'T-shirt power station' really such an impossibility? read more

Energy question of the week: How long will our crude oil reserves last?

01.02.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

The global economic crisis has also had a positive side – the consumption of crude oil fell slightly in 2008 and 2009. Yet before long, it is likely to rise again to about 85 million barrels per day. The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2009 report states that demand will rise by a further percent each year to 105 million barrels per day by 2030. For how long can we meet this growing demand read more

Energy question of the week: Will we be driving only electric cars in twenty years' time?

25.01.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

The first, purely electrically-driven compact and sports cars are already on the market, but they are much more expensive than their classic diesel or petrol engine counterparts and have a range of no more than 100 kilometres. Only light, high-performance and cheap lithium-ion batteries will help electric cars achieve a breakthrough. Will such electricity storage devices reach production standard in the near future? read more

Charles Bolden and Jan Woerner

NASA and DLR, two organizations… mutual ideas

22.01.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

Because of NASA's achievements, the United States continues to be regarded as the most important and strongest nation with regard to space. Until now, the relationship with other countries, including Germany, has been characterised by the fundamental view that all American missions should be realised using American expertise on the critical path. The future role of partners was a central subject during the visit by Charles Bolden. read more

News about SOFIA

22.01.2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

The SOFIA ‘flying observatory’, a collaboration between NASA and DLR, is making great progress. After two test flights in December 2009, a third successful flight was made on 15 January 2010. A brief news roundup. read more

Energy question of the week: Car exhaust gases as a source of electricity?

18.01.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

In cars with internal combustion engines, a large part of the energy stored in diesel or petrol is simply dissipated as lost heat. It is precisely these hot exhaust gases that an increasing number of scientists worldwide want to use for more efficient electricity generation. They are developing and testing thermoelectric generators that can generate electricity from temperature differences of several hundred degrees. But does electricity from hot car exhaust gases really save fuel? read more