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 develops laser systems for applications in aerospace, as well as in the areas of security and defence. At the institute sites in Stuttgart and Lampoldshausen, scientists, engineers and technicians work on interdisciplinary issues in the key areas detection and removal of space debris, laser-based remote detection of harmful and hazardous substances, long range laser effectors and laser propulsion for space travel.
Research at the DLR-Institute of Engineering 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.