At its Stuttgart location the DLR employs more than 600 people and conducts research into aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
Studies in energy carried out by researchers at the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics have shown that it is possible to supply Europe and North Africa with environment-friendly energy. These energy studies are being carried out by the Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment. The institute also develops storage technologies to make energy available in conditions of low wind, as well as at nighttime and in the event of cloud cover.
HOTREG high-temperature storage
High-temperature storage could accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and also provide for more flexibility and greater efficiency in industrial processes as well as conventional power plant applications. The core of the 'HOTREG' experimental plant at the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics is a five-metre-high storage unit. With the reconfigurable test unit for investigation of thermal storage, researchers can test various storage concepts, operating methods and materials.
The free-piston linear generator: a new kind of range extender for electric cars
Researchers at the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart have demonstrated the feasibility of this technology on a test bench specifically developed for this purpose. This makes them the first in the world to succeed in commissioning this kind of energy converter, comprising an internal combustion component, a linear generator and a gas spring.
All-wheel climate role test rig
Equipped with an exhaust extractor, the climate-controlled four-wheel dynamometer is used by the Institute of Vehicle Concepts for testing vehicles with conventional and alternative electrical drives.
Crash-test facility at the Institute for Vehicle Concepts
Assembly of the SHEFEX II vehicle
DLR has been working on the SHEFEX programme for 10 years, developing a technology in which a spacecraft can re-enter the atmosphere and land without suffering damage. SHEFEX is angular and sharp-edged; its structure consists of planar surfaces, which are easier to manufacture and are thus less expensive than the usual rounded shapes. The sharp edges are also aerodynamically advantageous. DLR researchers have developed various thermal protection systems to control the high temperatures that the edges are subjected to during re-entry. The Stuttgart DLR-Institute for Structures and Design plays a leading role in the SHEFEX-project.
Testing new lightweight materials
Aircrafts as well as new vehicles are increasingly being manufactured from new types of lightweight materials. To achieve the high quality standards required for this, DLR developers at the Institute for Structures and Design rely on non-destructive analysis processes - as for instance computer tomography.
The Institute of Technical Physics at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) develops and builds lasers. In the future, lasers will be capable of detecting items of space debris and accelerating the decay of their orbits.
Experimental disk-laser module
In the laser laboratory at the DLR Institute of Technical Physics, researchers are experimenting with high-power lasers that operate in the kilowatt range.
High pressure combustion chamber at DLR Stuttgart
With the combustion chamber, the scientists at the DLR Institute of Combustion Technology can research synthetic gas with a high percentage of hydrogen under real conditions.
Analysis of the pollutant emissions of new fuels
Claus Wahl, a DLR scientist in the Chemical Analysis Department, working on a mobile measuring device to analyse exhaust emissions and measure particulates generated by 'Gas to Liquid' (GtL) fuels. In modern combustion research, chemical and instrument analyses are indispensible in analysing the emissions from combustion processes and deriving measurements to reduce pollutants.
Quality tests on parabolic trough collectors
A researcher from the DLR Institute for Solar Research tests a mirror for a solar-thermal power plant. DLR has developed its own test facilities and methods for verifying quality. In important areas, they have succeeded in developing internationally recognised quality standards.
More efficient solar power plants
At the Plataforma Solar de Almería in southern Spain, researchers from the DLR Institute of Solar Research have put a test facility for solar thermal power plants into operation. In the power plant, steam for generating power is produced directly in receiver tubes in the parabolic troughs. This avoids the need for intermediate stages using thermal transfer media and also allows for higher operating temperatures. The new technology enables parabolic trough power generators to produce power more efficiently and cost-effectively.
The DLR site at Stuttgart
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart consists of six research institutes conducting research into the areas of aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security. It currently employs more than 600 people. Today's DLR site goes back to the Research Institute of Jet Propulsion Physics, which was founded at the Stuttgart Airport in 1954. In 1961, the site was moved to the Pfaffenwald area in Stuttgart-Vaihingen next to the University of Stuttgart. Thus, DLR is close to the world of research in Stuttgart - not just in geographic terms but also through many joint associations and special research projects, the training of undergraduate and doctoral students as well as through the participation in teaching activities at the university itself.
Main research areas of the six DLR Stuttgart institutes
The DLR-Institute of Structures and Design develops high performance structures for aerospace, vehicle construction and energy applications. Focus lies upon the development and implementation of composite materials with polymer and ceramic matrix in innovative, high-performance structures. A further research priority lies in improving the structural integrity of heavy-duty load bearing structures under impact or crash conditions.
Technologies for sustainable future road and rail vehicle system are the main area of expertise of the DLR-Institute of Vehicle Concepts. Scientists work on alternative drive concepts, innovative lightweight construction solutions as well as on holistic concepts to make the mobility of tomorrow sustainable, safe and affordable. Its work includes studies, concepts, calculations, and simulations as well as demonstrators and research vehicles.
The DLR-Institute of Technical Physics addressed selected fields in optics and photonics. Its work encompasses investigating questions from the aerospace sector and contributing towards defence and security research. Special focus lies on researching and developing new laser sources as well as on the application of laser radiation in active optical systems.
Research at the DLR-Institute of Technical Thermodynamics concentrates on efficient and resource-saving energy storage and conversion technologies. It ranges all the way from theoretical studies and basic laboratory research to the operation of pilot installations, completemented by analytical system studies analyzing technical and structural options for a sustainable future energy supply system. In addition to these core activities in energy research, the institute also employs its competence in the areas of aeronautics and transport research.
The DLR-Institute of Combustion Technology investigates questions relating to combustion in power-station gas turbines, aircraft engines as well as in motors and systems. It aims at enhancing the efficiency of the combustion process while keeping it stable and reducing the emission of pollutants.
Activities at the Stuttgart branch of the DLR-Institute of Solar Technology mainly focus on solar-thermal power stations which use concentrated solar radiation as a heat source to drive turbines - thus producing heat, electricity and fuel for a sustainable energy supply.
Service facilities: Test stands and large research installations
All these activities are supported by a wide variety of unique test stands and large research facilities such as combustion chambers and chassis dynamometer, plasma spray facilities along with test stands for material testing and laser research. In addition, DLR has access to the solar thermal power station component test site in Almeria, Spain. This research infrastructure is also available for use by industry, serving the objective of supporting a transfer of scientific and technical knowledge into industrial production. DLR scientists are active in a large number of different specialised associations and act directly as advisors in the corresponding fields of political responsibility.
Helping and encouraging the next generation, by organising visits for students and providing information to the public through presentations at meetings, seminars and educational events all form part of DLR’s main priorities. With a wide range of education offers at school and university level, DLR is actively engaged in training the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Last modified:24/04/2013 13:42:34