Unanswered questions about the formation of clouds and their impact on the climate are currently setting limitations on the validity of global climate forecasts. To make a detailed analysis of the climate effects of natural ice clouds and the vapour trails created by air traffic, the HALO research aircraft embarked on the first of a total of 12 measurement flights on 24 March 2014.
For new, quieter descent procedures, pilots must adhere precisely to a predetermined sequence of actions during the landing phase. DLR has developed a pilot assistance system that optimises landings, making them safer, quieter and more fuel-efficient.
Slower landing approaches by aircraft lead to less noise. How slow, steep and hence quiet a modern commercial aircraft can arrive at a destination airport is determined by the performance of the high-lift system with its retractable slats and flaps on the wings. Another advantage of reduced landing speeds is that shorter runways can be used. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has joined with Airbus, and the European Transonic Wind Tunnel (ETW) in the three-part project HINVA (High lift INflight VAlidation), consisting of wind tunnel experiments, flight tests and computer simulations. The aim is to combine computer models and wind tunnel tests to substantially improve predictions of high-lift performance and hence pave the way for slower and quieter approach flights. In early February, the project performed unique wind tunnel experiments at cryogenic temperatures in the ETW in Cologne. Equipped with laser measurement technology and other advanced measurement systems, the researchers achieved hitherto unknown precision in detecting the flowfield around an Airbus A320 with extended landing flaps and slats under flight-representative conditions. The researchers had constructed a high precision wind tunnel model specifically for the tests, based on flow measurements performed during in-flight tests with the DLR A320 ATRA research aircraft.
A team of German pilots from the Mountain Wave Project (MWP) and researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have achieved a groundbreaking feat around the highest mountain on Earth.
Time and again, Himalayan landslides and flash floods cost the lives of dozens of people in Nepal, sweeping away entire villages and infrastructure like bridges and roads. Until now, the images of this remote region have been acquired by satellites.
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.
Researchers from DLR based at Göttingen and Braunschweig have succeeded for the first time in visualising the main cause of what makes helicopters so noisy while in the air.
Clouds can both warm and cool Earth's atmosphere. In current climate models, detailed conditions for cloud cover as a climatic factor are still not clearly understood. There is a shortage of precise measurements on how the water, humidity, ice particles and aerosols that form water droplets are distributed in towering cumulus clouds.
Ideas for the airport of the future arise in Hamburg. On 27 and 28 November 2013, researchers at DLR, together with numerous industrial and university research partners in the Lighthouse Project 'Airport 2030', presented their final results in the Conference Centre at Hamburg Airport.
The sound of aircraft engines starting up – an everyday occurrence in many towns close to airports. To help develop quieter aircraft engines, scientists from DLR are going to use contactless laser metrology and microphones for the very first time to investigate the sources of noise inside jet engines and on the main fan.
A wind tunnel with icy temperatures; test rigs for combustion chambers to house next-generation turbines spewing fire, DLR's largest research aircraft, the Airbus A320 ATRA: These are just a few of the major high-tech apparatus that the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will present at its main headquarters in Cologne on 22 September 2013. German Aerospace Day has a lot to offer in terms of aerospace research: Four DLR institutes will showcase their work on economical, quiet and safe aircraft.
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'.
Internet on the airplane – digital systems are an everyday routine for more and more passengers, but pilots are largely cut off from this development.
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.
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.
On 4 May 2013 at 04:06 (CEST), when the European Proba-V satellite lifts off on a Vega launcher with the primary mission of observing vegetation from space, it will be carrying another instrument on board – one that will be keeping an 'eye' on aircraft.