Over the last few decades, the architecture of global security and the security threats faced by our society have altered fundamentally. Direct and indirect threats, such as terrorism, organised crime and piracy or the growing shortages of raw materials and energy, climate change and its associated catastrophes pose new challenges to national security and defence.
To meet these new requirements in the near future, also science and research begin to play a decisive role, along with politics and business. Highly-developed technologies, systems, concepts and expertise that originate in the world of science are already helping to ensure that capability profiles derived from various different scenarios are well served, thereby assisting with the resolution of conflicts and crises. The ability to forecast possible future scenarios is constantly confronted by its inherent limitations – terrorism and natural catastrophes being good examples. This makes civilian and defence-related security research especially important.
DLR undertakes research activities with a bearing on defence and security and manages them in collaboration with partners in government, academia and industry. DLR's fifth research programme is an interdisciplinary one, encompassing security-related aspects of its four main research areas: aviation, space, energy and transportation. It incorporates innovative organisational concepts as well as corresponding strategies for action. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects are central to this, and link together DLR's fields of research.
DLR's security-related research work delivers services for development, testing and evaluation of technologies, and assessment of and consultancy for security-related applications, with the objective of supporting and protecting the population. For instance, DLR is active in the areas of airport security (aviation and transport), satellite-assisted crisis management (space), remote or 'decentralised' energy supply (energy) and transportation management for major events as well as catastrophe management (transportation). DLR fields a broad range of specialist expertise in key system areas such as Earth observation, robotics and communication.
In addition, DLR plays an integral part in a network of national, European and global Defence and Security research efforts. Through its research activities, DLR supports Germany's position in competitive European and international business environments. The strategic impetus of DLR’s priority area of security research is delivered against a backdrop of future security and defence policy within Europe while, at an international level, it takes proper account of defined capability profiles aimed at protecting its population and safeguarding peace.