A diameter of 2200 kilometres and a depth of up to nine kilometres: these are the dimensions of the largest impact crater on Mars – Hellas. Only the Moon's South Pole-Aitken Basin and the Valhalla structure on Jupiter's moon, Callisto, have a similar size.
The dwarf planet Ceres is becoming an increasingly mysterious – and exciting – celestial body as the planetary researchers working on the Dawn mission acquire more and more details. The contrast-enhanced true colours show a bluish material around several craters and mountain slopes.
As the title of this issue suggests, the first DLRmagazine of 2016 takes a look back in time. This year, the DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
This year, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is celebrating 40 years of energy research and reflects on the very first days with the protagonists. One of these is Carl-Jochen Winter, a hydrogen researcher who was involved from the very beginning.
On 14 March 2016 at 10:31 CET, the ExoMars 2016 mission of the European Space Agency, ESA, and the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, lifted off from the Russian Cosmodrome in Baikonur towards Mars. On board the Proton rocket were the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli landing demonstrator (Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module; EDM).
Spaceflight is undergoing significant change. To be successful in the long term, spaceflight must be actively developed, new markets have to be exploited, and the opportunities offered by innovative technologies need to be seized. Which space propulsion systems are visionary, which are realistic, and which are sustainable?
When it comes to the best views of Earth, weather satellites usually have front-row seats. But now, and until 30 December 2016, everyone can enjoy this very special view of the Blue Planet at the Gasometer Oberhausen. The highlight of the 'Wonders of Nature' exhibit is a terrestrial globe 20 metres in diameter hovering from the 100-metre high tower of this imposing industrial monument.
The heating sector is playing a crucial role in the sustainable transformation of the energy system. The production of heat for industry, households, business and service providers accounts for nearly half of the total energy consumption in the European Union. Industry needs more than a third of that amount, mostly for process heating, but also for space heating and hot water.
In December 2015, the Mars mission InSight was put on hold, but it has now been provisionally scheduled to launch to the Red Planet at the next opportunity – in May 2018. Technical difficulties with one of the two main experiments – the seismometer – had led to the US space agency, NASA, cancelling the launch that had been planned for March 2016. Now, a decision has been made – the mission has been given a reprieve, and a new launch date in two years' time.
In 1999, the European Commission launched the Single European Sky (SES) programme to ensure that national airspaces grow together to create a more unified and efficient pan-European airspace. Together with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimtevaartlaboratorium; NLR), the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has become a member of the EU Single European Sky ATM (Air Traffic Management) research programme, known as SESAR 2020. The aim of SESAR 2020 is to develop new systems for the unification of European airspace and meet the challenges of increasing air traffic.
The earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, the tsunami in Japan in 2011 that was triggered by an undersea earthquake, and the severe floods that, time and again, affect countries such as India and Bangladesh give rise to the question of how Earth observation satellites could help detect and study natural disasters in a more effective way.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is showcasing its current research projects in the field of high-performance fibre-reinforced composites from 8-10 March 2016 at the JEC World Composites Show & Conferences in Paris, the leading specialised world exhibition and conference for composite materials.
Forty years ago, prompted by the shocking rise in oil prices at the start of the 1970s, political and economic figures began to think about an energy supply other than oil, coal, and uranium. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), which at that time was still the DVLR, had already begun applying its expertise to energy research in 1969 to directly tackle this social challenge.
Mobile inspection robots crawl over pipelines on magnetic wheels and identify critical points using special sensors. What sounds like science fiction has long since become reality, but the moment that these robots need to be serviced and inspected, it has not been possible to avoid human interaction.
On 25 February 2016, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) signed an ‘Inter Agency Arrangement for Strategic Partnership’ at the German Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. With this arrangement, both partners intend to jointly undertake the new role of space agencies and significantly contribute to the advancement of the world's space development.
Dense rainforest, a twin-engine turbo-prop aircraft and advanced radar technology – researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are performing numerous measurement flights from 1 to 29 February 2016 over the central African country of Gabon to determine the state of the rainforest.
According to "Landmine Monitor 2015" every day around 10 people – as well children – are injured or even killed by landmines or other explosive remnants of war. Probably a huge and rather unknown amount of such devices is still installed, posing a constant threat even long after the end of a conflict.
When looking at the large-scale topography along the equator of Mars, what truly stands out are the many, extremely wide drainage channels leading north without many lateral inflows. The smaller valley systems are not so noticeable in these images. They often have multiple branches and meander across the terrain. Such valley systems can be found on Earth. Arda Valles in the Martian highlands is a good example of such a drainage system.
Components made of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) are increasingly being used to make aircraft lighter, more comfortable and more economical. In order to make these aircraft even safer and facilitate their maintenance, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has built a large aircraft component out of CFRP, as part of the EU Smart Intelligent Airframe Structures (SARISTU) project. The component can provide information about the size and location of any damage.
Sailing in the regions that polar researcher Arved Fuchs is currently navigating in his ship 'Dagmar Aaen' is a not an easy task. The 'Ocean Change' expedition is travelling around the Antarctic Peninsula, stopping off at a number of research stations to investigate how climate change is impacting the local environment.