2014 was an extraordinarily eventful and exciting year at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). The landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and the mission by German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst were undisputed highlights. But the research conducted in other areas was extremely diverse, and sought to find answers to questions in the fields of aeronautics, aerospace, energy, transport and security.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has been commissioned by the World Bank to investigate Pakistan’s potential for the exploitation of solar energy. DLR researchers will be using satellite data and ground measurements to generate a radiation map showing the best regions for solar power generation in Pakistan.
The Dii (Desertec Industrial Initiative) has been dissolved in its current form, and will now only continue to exist as a consultancy firm. Robert Pitz-Paal, Director of DLR's Institute of Solar Research, explains his view of how the idea of power generation using solar thermal power plants in sunny regions will continue to develop.
DLR has joined with partners in an EU research project to develop a 'combined tank' suitable for holding hydrogen in a compact space under moderate pressure and at ambient temperature.
Biofuels provide an opportunity to lower the carbon dioxide footprint of air travel and to reduce the potential climatic effects of particle emissions and enhanced cloudiness by aviation.
In a new radiation receiver developed for solar tower power plants, ceramic particles of around one millimetre in size are heated to 1000 degrees Celsius.
An international group of researchers has succeeded in producing the world's first jet fuel from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide in the SOLAR-JET (Solar chemical reactor demonstration and Optimization for Long-term Availability of Renewable JET fuel) project.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is testing the performance and durability of reflectors and receivers for solar power plants in Ouarzazate, Morocco and in Bokpoort, South Africa.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has released a free version of the simulation program FreeGreenius.
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are driven by the desire to improve life on Earth. Among other things, they are working on aircraft that one day will produce less noise emissions and run on alternative fuels, while their more efficient turbines emit fewer pollutants. But DLR researchers are not simply concerned with improving airborne mobility, they also have their feet firmly on the ground, helping us reach our destinations in fast and green transportation, for instance in electric vehicles. And talking about transport, in May 2014 astronaut Alexander Gerst, is scheduled to embark on a six-month journey on board the ISS, where he will conduct numerous experiments in various fields, including biology and medicine, to name just two, that will contribute to improving life here on Earth. Alexander Gerst's mission – Blue Dot – expresses this desire. Viewed from far away in space, the Earth resembles an azure, vulnerable speck. The Rosetta spacecraft will send a wealth of new data back to Earth as it chases a comet, venturing deep into space during 2014. The European spacecraft will reach its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, after around 10 years of travel. One of the highlights will be the landing of Philae on November 2014. DLR played a major role in building the craft and operates the lander from its control centre in Cologne.
What has a certain SANDRA to do with a digitally networked sky? And why do we consider a research flight that does not even take off newsworthy? Where exactly does the noise emitted by aircraft come from and how can it be reduced? How does an astronaut prepare for a six-month stay on the International Space Station, ISS? DLR 2013 annual film has the answers.
Throughout his doctoral thesis, Marc Röger developed a contactless measuring technique, which measures the heat transfer of solar power plant components. It is for this discovery that he was awarded the DLR Wissenschaftspreis (Award for Contributions made to Science).
Switzerland will be able to obtain 98 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by the year 2050, while the corresponding figure for Poland reaches nearly 90 percent. In the long term, a sustainable energy supply is possible in both countries. These figures are shown by energy scenarios that DLR researchers have prepared on behalf of Greenpeace.
The range and performance of electric vehicles depends directly on the batteries used. Lithium-ion batteries are currently considered very promising for use in alternative vehicle propulsion systems due to their high energy density and low capacity loss when frequently, but incompletely, charged and discharged.
Researchers at DLR have started operating a receiver test facility on the tower of the solar power plant in Jülich. In a solar power plant, solar radiation is converted into heat in the receiver.
In 55 videos, researchers from DLR facilitate profound knowledge about the fundamentals of CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) project planning, construction, maintenance and optimisation of solar thermal power plants.
We all want energy to be available when we need it. During German Aerospace Day, energy researchers at DLR will demonstrate how innovative storage devices can be used to efficiently harness energy.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is building up its resources for investigating environment-friendly gas turbines and to this end has teamed up with industrial partners Alstom and Rolls-Royce. On 14 August 2013, the three partners attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a modern, globally unique combustor test facility. This signals the start of some 47 million euros of investment in the expansion of the infrastructure at DLR’s Cologne site. The aim of this collaboration is to further increase the efficiency of combustors and at the same time to significantly reduce exhaust gas and noise emissions from gas turbines. Starting in mid-2014, the new high-pressure combustor test facility (Hochdruckbrennkammerprüfstand 5; HBK5) will be used to perform combustor tests that contribute towards the development of future generations of aircraft engines and power generation turbines.
Holger Hennings was one of the first people to show an interest in wind power. He followed the failure of the large Growian science project and saw how wind power turbines went on to become a surprising success. Today, Hennings works at the DLR site in Göttingen, making wind power turbines safer and more efficient to operate.
How much solar energy reaches a power plant? Is the Sun often obscured by dust or other atmospheric particles? Power station operators need a great deal of meteorological data before deciding on the location of a new power plant.