On 2 December 2010, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) opened the world's most powerful aero-acoustic wind tunnel in collaboration with German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (Deutsch-Niederländische Windkanäle; DNW). Scientists use wind tunnels to investigate the aero-acoustic properties of objects such as aircraft engines and wings. Not only is the Braunschweig wind tunnel one of the most powerful of its kind, but also it is so versatile that it can be used for cars as well as planes. This presents new possibilities in which to record and reduce sources of noise pollution.
What looks like a wind tunnel is actually an air intake chamber. Engine researchers use the 16-metre-long, eight metre- diameter enclosure to remove turbulence from air before it reaches the compressor of an engine during testing. This allows them to achieve optimal and repeatable conditions for their experiments.Fans and compressors are important research topics at the DLR Institute of Propulsion Technology by reason of the great influence they exert on the performance of engines and their noise emissions. The researchers are working on new designs for axial and radial compressors, and verifying their multidisciplinary development techniques using prototypes. The multi-shaft compressor test facility, shown in this image being prepared for a test, is essential for this process.
DAAD / Lannert.
For the measurement campaign, a series of microphones were positioned at various places inside the engine and around the exhaust area and recording their signals simultaneously. These signals formed the basis for the acoustic field analysis.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
The fan blades on the Ultra High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) test system at the DLR Institute of Propulsion Technology.
The rotor test facility at the Institute of Flight Systems.
The new steering wheel control for helicopters makes flying much easier. It can be used not only to fly a PAV, but also to improve other aircraft.
Numerical simulation: Simulated pressure distribution for an airliner in landing approach.
Despite its wingspan of 72 metres, the lightweight aircraft, with the identification HB-SIB, weighs only about 2.5 tons. Almost half of the weight is accounted for by the cockpit and the four engine nacelles, which have integrated batteries to provide the aircraft with power at night.
Not just the camera and its housing have been developed by the DLR researchers in Göttingen – so too has the measurement technology employed. This involves using two cameras with different angles of view (stereoscopy) to take images of the object under investigation. A computer identifies the equivalent points in the images – the dot pattern helps with this. Knowing the position and attitude of the cameras enables the entire surface being observed to be represented in 3D.
The ACT/FHS 'Flying Helicopter Simulator' of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is based on a standard Eurocopter EC 135 type helicopter, which has been extensively modified for use as a research and test aircraft.
The HALO (High Altitude and LOng Range) research aircraft is based on the ultra-long-range G 550 business jet produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. With a range of more than 8000 kilometres, measurements on the scale of continents are possible; the research aircraft can reach all regions, from the poles to the tropics, and remote areas of the Pacific Ocean.
The Falcon is the only research aircraft in Europe that is legally able to fly at high altitudes and over long distances in volcanic ash clouds.
Behind the DC-8, the scientists on board the DLR Falcon measured the exhaust gas composition.
The Airbus A320-232 'D-ATRA' (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft) is the largest member of the DLR research fleet.
DLR/Evi Blink (CC-BY 3.0).
The Airbus A320-232 D-ATRA, DLR's largest fleet member, has been in operation since the end of 2008.
The DLR Do 228-212 research aircraft in front of the DLR flight operations hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen.