A windscreen full of insect remains is a familiar experience on the roads in summer. It is no different on the runway at the airport. On warm days, aircraft sometimes collide with entire swarms of insects as they take off and land. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are working in partnership with Airbus to investigate how the resulting large-scale contamination disturbs the airflow over new wing designs in particular, thus putting targeted fuel savings at risk. Extremely low-level flights by the DLR ATRA research aircraft over Magdeburg-Cochstedt Airport have shown experts in flow patterns how small flying animals affect aircraft. The aim is to create hi-tech wings that incorporate insect protection for the future.
Many aircraft passengers are familiar with the phenomenon; the sky is clear and blue, the aircraft is cruising calmly, but suddenly everything is disrupted by temporary turbulence. Passengers frequently experience this as a kind of 'hole in the air'.
Everyday life is dominated by information. Constantly growing volumes of data have to be transported around the globe. Satellite telecommunications play an important role in ensuring that such data reaches its destination reliably.
For the first time, SOFIA – the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, has been deployed to the southern hemisphere. Based at the airport in Christchurch, New Zealand for three weeks, SOFIA will study celestial objects that are uniquely observable on southern flight routes.
Close to four minutes of microgravity prevailed in the sounding rocket MAPHEUS-4, which was launched on 15 July 2013 at 07:53 local time, from the Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.
A short-arm centrifuge spins test subjects at six times Earth's gravity; a hypobaric chamber simulates an altitude of 5500 metres; and in the Psychology Laboratory a shuttle has to be docked with the International Space Station under stressful conditions.
Internet on the airplane – digital systems are an everyday routine for more and more passengers, but pilots are largely cut off from this development.
Following severe flooding in northern India and Nepal, the Indian government activated the 'International Charter Space and Major Disasters' on 19 June 2013 at 10:30.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French aerospace company Dassault Aviation intend to join forces in aerospace research. At the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget on 18 June 2013, both partners adopted a joint declaration.
It will be a first: in 2018 the Japanese Hayabusa 2 Mission will feature an asteroid landing and will, for the first time, allow for data acquisition at various points of this kind of celestial body, assisted by MASCOT, the hopping landing craft developed by DLR.
The lightweight construction of aircraft with carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) is a dynamically developing field of research. On 17 June 2013 at the Paris Air Show, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR) signed a Cooperation Agreement in the field of Fibre Reinforced Composites. Together, both partners will develop production techniques for lightweight components for use in the aviation and transport sectors, which will contribute to a reduction of fuel consumption and the associated carbon dioxide emissions.
Future developments in space travel and aviation are the main reasons why the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is attending the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget. From 17 - 23 June 2013 DLR will be present with 12 exhibits on a stand shared with the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI).
An A320 overflying Scotland was the first aircraft 'seen' from space by a new receiver from the German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), proving that tracking aircraft from space is possible.
At present, the Sun is very active – a surface covered with sunspots, frequent ejections of matter and a stronger solar wind blowing towards Earth. In the meantime, however, radiation exposure at aircraft cruising altitudes has reduced.
A special passenger was on board during the launch of ESA's fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), 'Albert Einstein', on 5 June 2013 at 23:52 CEST – the STEREX experiment, funded by the DLR Space Administration and the European Space Agency (ESA).
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.
Grabens, dendritic valleys, lava flows and the highest known mountain in the Solar System – in the images from the German stereo camera on board the Mars Express spacecraft, the topography of the Red Planet appears so three-dimensional that you could walk through it.
His muscles are of interest to the scientists, as is his internal clock and the radiation dose to which he will be exposed during his work in the European Columbus research laboratory. On 28 May 2013 at 22:31 CEST, the European Astronaut Luca Parmitano will depart from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on board the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft, beginning his journey to the International Space Station (ISS), as part of the Expedition 36/37 crew.
European astronaut Luca Parmitano's 'Volare' mission will begin on 28 May 2013 with the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The International Space Station will be his place of work and home for the next six months.
The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is devising plans for a solar power research and test centre in Morocco on behalf of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen).