DLR Stuttgart at a glance

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  • DLR Stuttgart

    At its Stuttgart location the DLR employs more than 700 people and conducts research into aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security.

  • Desertec Concept

    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.

  • 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.

  • Laser research

    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.

DLR has more than 700 employees in six institutes at the DLR site in Stuttgart. The main research areas include high performance structures made from ceramic fibre, polymer and hybrid composites, innovative road and rail vehicle concepts, laser system development, energy storage and conversion technologies, gas turbines and combustion processes and the development of receivers for solar power plants. The research conducted here is supported by an extensive infrastructure with unique test rigs and large-scale research facilities.

DLR Stuttgart is a major player in the Baden-Württemberg scientific community, supporting the innovative power of Stuttgart and Baden-Württemberg. The DLR site in Stuttgart has its origin in the Research Institute of Jet Propulsion Physics, established in 1954 at Stuttgart airport. Since 1961, the site has been located in the Pfaffenwald in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. As a result of its geographic proximity to the University of Stuttgart, together with the close collaboration in research and education, the DLR site has become an important part of the scientific community in Stuttgart.

Cooperation with industry and government

DLR’s research infrastructure is also available for collaborative use with industry, supporting the transfer of technical and scientific expertise. DLR Technology Marketing encourages intensive networking with partners from business and industry associations for the development of new products and securing jobs. DLR scientists and the Technology Marketing Department are active in numerous professional associations and networks and undertake consulting assignments in the relevant policy areas.

Overview: institutes and facilities

The DLR Institute of Structures and Design develops high-performance structures for the aerospace, vehicle construction and energy technology sectors. The focus here is on the development of ceramic fibre and polymer composite components and hybrid structures.

The DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts addresses the development of future technologies for road and rail vehicles. The Institute’s contributions range from conception and design through construction and simulations to the presentation of research demonstrators, components and vehicles.

The DLR Institute of Technical Physics develops laser systems for the aerospace, security and defence sectors.

The DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics paves the way for the energy storage industry of tomorrow. The Institute is developing the scientific basis of electrochemical and thermochemical energy storage technologies using a symbiotic interaction of laboratory experiments and computer simulations. It also investigates efficiency, cost and sustainability of future energy systems.

The DLR Institute of Combustion Technology researches new concepts for decentralised energy supply and combustor systems for gas turbines in aircraft engines and power plants. New fuels, such as those based on biomass, are also part of the focus, as is increasing the reliability of combustion processes and reducing pollutant emissions.

The DLR Institute of Solar Research develops concentrating solar systems for the generation of heat, power and fuel for a sustainable energy supply.

The Engineering Facility Systemhaus Technik is available to the DLR institutes and facilities for any technical questions regarding scientific research materials – from consultancy through to advice on development and manufacturing and the assembly of complex units.

Promoting young talent

DLR Stuttgart actively supports the training of young scientists and engineers. Through teams, joint projects and the participation of DLR scientists in the learning process, there is close cooperation with technical colleges and universities – particularly the neighbouring University of Stuttgart.

Last modified:
27/08/2015 15:17:04



Dr. Anke Kovar
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Site Management

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Denise Nüssle
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Corporate Communications Stuttgart

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