The Department of Space Launcher Systems Analysis (Systemanalyse Raumtransport; SART) at the Institute of Space Systems is responsible for the design and analysis of launcher systems. Areas of research include, not only spacecraft design, but also the design and analysis of propulsion systems. The ability to integrate the study of spacecraft and thrusters in this way places SART in a unique position within Germany.
The Department has a wide range of tasks – from independent preliminary designs to the critical analysis and assessment of foreign concepts. A key objective of this research is to identify suitable technologies that will reduce the costs associated with space missions. All the research is conducted using modern, computer-based scientific methods. This also includes concurrent engineering at the respective facilities (CEF) at the DLR site in Bremen.
At the heart of the department's activities lies research into future rocket-powered launchers, some of which would be reusable. A key area of work also includes providing expert support to the German space programmatics in terms of ARIANE and VEGA. Close collaboration with industry (AIRBUS DS and MT Aerospace) as well as the DLR Institutes in Cologne, Braunschweig, Stuttgart and Lampoldshausen is leading the way toward the development of new launcher and upper stage concepts. Within the German ASTRA research programme, which was completed in 2005, SART managed the development a reusable booster concept (liquid fly-back booster; LFBB) for Ariane 5. In addition to the work carried out on the continuous improvement of simulation processes, SART is involved in the development of new technologies.
SART is developing new and innovative ideas that move away from – and challenge – more conventional thought processes, such as the visionary concept of a hypersonic passenger transport, called SpaceLiner, that will in future, enable long-distance intercontinental travel in less than two hours. Another notable example of its innovative ideas is the patented process of in-air-capturing, whereby a reusable booster stage is captured and returned by a towing aircraft.
Various other concepts for passenger aircraft have also been studied in a variety of different EU programmes that include supersonic and hypersonic travel, as well as propulsion: LAPCAT, ATLLAS, FAST20XX, HIKARI and HYPMOCES. SART coordinates the EU project CHATT, which is looking into cryogenic fuel tanks and their use within hypersonic aircraft.
The analyses carried out by SART are often carried out with national and international cooperation.
The following projects are current or completed examples of studies conducted by SART into systems analysis: