The Institute of Aerospace Medicine investigates central life science questions with regard to aviation, space flight, and traffic. It focuses its research particularly on the medicine and psychology of aviation and space, as well as traffic. The institute’s central concern is to maintain the health and productivity of those directly or indirectly involved, including pilots, flight attendants, passengers, astronauts, truck drivers, and residents.
Tasks and GoalsThe Institute of Aerospace Medicine, with its Hamburg-based Aviation and Space Psychology division, is part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne-Porz.
In the highly technological environment of the future, people will be even more mobile—both on Earth and in space. And they must remain equally healthy and effective in both of those environments. Our Institute of Aerospace Medicine provides for this by developing long-term solutions to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the system of interdependent effects between humans, machines, and the environment. The institute makes important contributions to the medical areas of prevention, individualization and remote care so as to meet the demands people face, both in today’s society and that of the future. With its new large-scale life science research facility, envihab: (environmental habitat) the institute lives up to DLR’s research expertise at the highest international level. The exceptional overall modular design – in both its architecture and conceptual form – allows for the investigation of research areas which go far beyond medical research tasks. It enables the investigation of complex questions within closed life-support systems, and interactions between humans and the environment. Significant contributions to the solution of increasingly pertinent environmental problems on Earth can therefore be made. Concrete solutions can also be provided for the future of aviation and space travel.
In a variety of working groups, projects, and collaborations, our six divisions investigate the effects of weightlessness on basic functions of the human body. We also develop measures to counteract the effects of weightlessness – such as loss of bone and muscle mass – on humans during long-term stays in space.
Another significant aspect of our work is the selection of suitable personnel (pilots, astronauts, and air traffic controllers) and the development, from a psychological point of view, of the relevant scientific instruments.
Furthermore, we address questions of how people adjust to living in extreme environments and are involved in the search for life in space.
We collaborate with national and international partners from the areas of science, research, and industry, as well as with governmental departments and agencies.
Most Institute for Aerospace Medicine divisions, as well as its management and administration, are DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 or DIN EN ISO 13485 certified. This ensures that the standards for the development and production of medical products have been met.
Organization chart (update: 1/2013)