Wittig: “Germany is now in a position to develop its own complete aerospace systems.”
The small BIRD satellite
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) founded the new DLR Institute of Aerospace Systems in Bremen on 26 January 2007. The Lord Mayor of Bremen, Jens Böhrnsen, and the Chairman of the Executive Board of DLR, Prof. Sigmar Wittig invited guests from the political, scientific and economic sectors to a joint ceremony in Bremen’s Town Hall. "The new Institute in Bremen is proof of DLR’s commitment to one of the most significant aerospace locations in Germany. German space research has taken another step towards developing complete systems", confirmed the DLR Chairman. "This commitment would not have been possible without government assistance at a federal and regional (Bremen) level", Wittig added enthusiastically.
Key topics for the new institute are spaceflight system analyses and systems technology and design for space travel applications.
Lord Mayor Böhrnsen welcomed DLR’s decision: "The establishment of the DLR Institute in our city is more firm confirmation that Bremen is assuming a leading position in the European aerospace industry. I am convinced that this institute will be one of the most significant DLR establishments in a few years’ time."
SHEFEX, artist's impression
The Bremen institute has the task of evaluating and analysing complex aerospace systems in technical, economic and socio-political terms. In this way, concepts for innovative space missions and space–based applications for scientific, commercial and security requirements are being developed. These should be done in close collaboration with research and industry sectors. The DLR Institute will be working closely with the aerospace industry based in Bremen and with institutes and bodies from the University of Bremen, such as the Centre for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM).
Solid financial backing for the Bremen DLR Institute
Approximately 80 scientists and engineers will be employed at the Institute. In addition, up to 50 scientists will be doing research in what are referred to as projects involving third party funding. Along with funding for equipment for the Institute, funds stand at approximately €8.9 million in 2007 with about €17.8 million in future years. 90 percent is federal funding with the region (Bremen) providing the other 10 percent. A further €9.5 million come in the form of special funds, which the Bremen region has allocated for the construction of a new Institute building. This is already at the planning stage and will take three years to build. This initiative reached the development stage through the committed support of Volker Kröning, member of the federal government, and Prof. Hans J. Rath, Head of ZARM.
Compact satellites from Bremen
Rosetta's Philae lander on a comet
The first actual tasks were specified and tackled even before the official establishment. The Institute in Bremen will play the leading role in the DLR compact satellite programme and in researching an experimental platform capable of returning to Earth. It aims to examine, in the field of space exploration, which concepts a German or European lunar mission should employ for optimum success. Other tasks are in areas concerning propulsion research for upper stages in spacecraft and systems technology for safety-related applications in space travel.
Provisional Institute Heads appointed
Josef Kind and Prof. Berndt Feuerbacher have been appointed to head the new Institute in Bremen on a provisional basis.
Former president of the EADS Space Transportation, Josef Kind (59) is widely recognised for his many years of experience within the industry. In particular, he will ensure that the technical orientation of the Institute will also work on issues which are relevant to industry.
Prof. Berndt Feuerbacher (66) is a distinguished specialist in the field of aerospace science. He headed the DLR’s Institute for Space Simulation in Cologne from 1981 to 2006. Feuerbacher will ensure the Institute’s scientific orientation.