Sabine Göge
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Head, DLR Corporate Communications Department

Tel.: +49 2203 601-2133

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249
Andreas Schütz
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Corporate Communications, Spokesman

Tel.: +49 171 3126-466

The low-speed wind tunnel at Braunschweig

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.

HALO during its landing approach

HALO im Landeanflug

The high-altitude research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft): The modified business jet, a Gulfstream G 550, landed on 21 January 2009 at its home airfield in Oberpfaffenhofen.

Methane in the atmosphere contributes significantly to global warming

Methangas in der Atmosphäre trägt bedeutend zur Erderwärmung bei

The German-French climate satellite will measure methane concentrations. This gas contributes to global warming in the same way as carbon dioxide, but its effect is 25 times greater. When it comes to the human-induced increase in quantity in the atmosphere, methane has clearly overtaken carbon dioxide. Since pre-industrial times, the methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled – while the increase in carbon dioxide over the same period has been 'only' 30 percent. As with carbon dioxide, methane is one of the gases for which emissions are to be reduced under the Kyoto Protocol.

Visual check of the dark absorber tubes in the radiation receiver

Kontrollblick auf die dunklen Absorberrohre im Strahlungsempfänger

Last visual check: DLR employee Miriam Ebert checks to ensure that the ceramic fibres protecting the radiation receiver are well sealed. The test power station Solhyco has been constructed in a 60-metre-high solar tower at the Plataforma Solar de Almería in southern Spain. The sunlight that the mirrors direct on to the radiation receiver in the tower heat the absorber tubes to 800 degrees Celsius. The radially arranged black tubes conduct this heat to a 100-kilowatt micro gas turbine, which drives a generator that in turn produces electricity.

Wind tunnel and structural model of the Next Generation Train

Windkanal%2d und Strukturmodell des Next Generation Train

The trains of the future need to be efficient, safe and cost-effective. To this end, DLR combines skills in, among other things, aerodynamics, lightweight construction, energy management and communications.

Using wind tunnel models (coloured silver in the illustration), crosswind stability and possibilities for drag optimisation are investigated. A draft design has been prepared (light lattice structure) for the topological optimisation of the train structure, from which conclusions about the main load paths in the carriage body can be drawn. This gives important information for the selection of the manufacturing and assembly technologies to be used for the Next Generation Train.

TerraSAR-X imaged the flooding in Pakistan during July and August 2010

TerraSAR%2dX half im Juli und August 2010, die Flut in Pakistan zu kartieren

In July and August 2010, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan was affected by severe flooding; TerraSAR-X mapped the flooded area. There were estimates of at least 1300 dead and more than 3700 houses destroyed, with 45 bridges washed away. The flood directly affected more than a million people.