Can new types of engine make spaceflight easier and more economical? This question is being investigated by researchers at the German Aerospace Center using one of Europe's leading hypersonic wind tunnels, located in Göttingen.
If companies and wind power equipment manufacturers find favourable conditions, the North Sea could become home to offshore wind farms with a combined generating capacity as high as 135 gigawatts by the year 2030. This is the result of a study conducted as part of an international project chaired by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and in which the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) was involved. The study made recommendations to politicians on the optimum way of developing wind power in the North Sea while remaining compatible with other uses of that body of water.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG started using biofuels on its regular scheduled flights on Friday, 15 July 2011. As part of this project, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will be taking exhaust gas measurements directly on the engine and comparing the emissions from kerosene and from the biofuel.
On 30 June 2011, DLR’s A320 ATRA (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft) taxied around Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport propelled by an electric nose wheel. In the taxiing tests, researchers and engineers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Airbus and Lufthansa Technik demonstrated a fuel cell-powered electric nose wheel. When installed in airliners, such nose wheels could significantly reduce noise and emissions at airports.
On 31 March 2011 the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Spanish utility company Endesa inaugurated a direct solar steam generation and energy storage pilot plant at Carboneras, located in southern Spain. In this type of solar power plant, steam is produced directly from concentrated solar radiation and used to drive a generator. The highlight of this facility is a new system that efficiently stores energy, both as sensible heat and latent heat. The stored energy can be used to generate electricity even at night.
At a meeting in Berlin on 16 March 2011, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) agreed to cooperate on research into concentrating solar energy technology. Senator Kim Carr, the Australian Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and Ulrich Wagner, the DLR Executive Board Member for Energy and Transport, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support this initiative. The technology is best suited to regions with high levels of solar radiation, which includes large parts of Australia.
Thanks to a fuel cell-powered electric nose wheel, aircraft will be able to save fuel while significantly reducing airport noise. A quiet and emission-free tarmac will be possible. After three years of development at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the system is now ready for its first rolling tests with the DLR A320 ATRA (Advanced Testing and Research Aircraft).