Mechanical Lab

The mechanical lab is the central manufacturing unit of the Institute, being responsible for the entire chain of design, development, manufacture and documentation of microwave components, instruments and models, also using numerically controlled machines. In particular, the long practical experience in the group enables excellent consultancy for the specification and design of microwave instruments and experimental set-ups. Typical tasks of the mechanical lab comprise the manufacture of microwave components (such as waveguide parts and antennas, as well as boxes and racks for microwave and electronic instruments), manufacture of miniaturised and hollow components using galvanic and galvanoplastic techniques, fabrication of load-bearing parts from high-tensile alloys for the Institute's research aircraft (E-SAR), manufacture of motor-driven instruments (such as scanners and antenna pedestals), manufacture of precision models for radar signature measurements, and support for degree and PhD students with hardware.

Mechanical Lab - examples

Left: model of Mount Etna manufactured from a Digital Elevation Model (SIR-C/X-SAR, Space Shuttle Mission, Oktober 1994). Right: Stealth-concept DLR-F7 for measurements of the radar cross section (RCS).
Examples of horn antennas for millimeter wavebands. Galvanoplastic methods have to be used, because the machining of the inaccessible internal surfaces is impossible with conventional techniques.
Aluminium blank for a 90 GHz absorber that can be cooled to -200°C. The spikes are of extremely high quality and accuracy for optimal absorbance. Also shown in the image are several canonical objects used for RCS measurements, which can be compared to theoretical models.
X-band slotted waveguide antenna with a Teflon radome for SAR Interferometry application. The box with the connector contains a power divider.
XCS down-converter for the Institute's F-SAR operating in X-, C- and S-band.
Smart Antenna Terminal: manufacture of modules for an active terminal antenna with digital beam forming. These elements are used for broadband satellite communication in Ka-band (20-30 GHz). The advantage of such antennas is the ability of very quick panning of the beam without the use of mechanical devices.

Peter Heitzer
German Aerospace Center

Microwaves and Radar Institute
, Microwave Systems
Tel: +49 8153 28-2339

Fax: +49 8153 28-1135

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