Visualisation of airflow
Vi­su­al­i­sa­tion of air­flow
Image 1/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Visualisation of airflow

Air­flow can al­ready be sim­u­lat­ed us­ing com­plex al­go­rithms, in­stead of phys­i­cal tests in a wind tun­nel or in the air.
Improving maintenance processes through VR applications
Im­prov­ing main­te­nance pro­cess­es through VR ap­pli­ca­tions
Image 2/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Improving maintenance processes through VR applications

The de­vel­op­ment of aug­ment­ed and vir­tu­al re­al­i­ty en­vi­ron­ments should al­low bet­ter plan­ning, fore­cast­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion of main­te­nance pro­cess­es and in­ter­vals.
HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft)
HA­LO (High Al­ti­tude and Long Range Re­search Air­craft)
Image 3/10, Credit: DLR/Ernsting

HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft)

DLR’s con­vert­ed Gulf­stream G550 is a glob­al­ly unique re­search plat­form for the study of the at­mo­sphere up to an al­ti­tude of 15,000 kilo­me­tres.
Test facility for tracking unmanned aerial vehicles using laser
Test fa­cil­i­ty for track­ing un­manned aeri­al ve­hi­cles us­ing laser
Image 4/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Test facility for tracking unmanned aerial vehicles using laser

Op­ti­cal laser de­tec­tion of un­manned aeri­al ve­hi­cles is be­ing test­ed at the DLR site in Stuttgart.
Joint research flights
Joint re­search flights with bio­fu­els
Image 5/10, Credit: DLR/NASA/Friz

Joint research flights with biofuels

NASA’s ‘fly­ing lab­o­ra­to­ry’, a DC-8, flies close­ly be­hind the DLR A320 ATRA (Ad­vanced Tech­nol­o­gy Re­search Air­craft), in the Air­bus’ ex­haust stream. On board, sci­en­tists mea­sure the com­po­si­tion of the ex­haust gas stream and in­ves­ti­gate the ef­fects of bio­fu­els such as HEFA on the for­ma­tion of soot par­ti­cles and ice crys­tals.
ES 135 FHS and superARTIS on the apron
ES 135 FHS and su­per­AR­TIS on the apron
Image 6/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

ES 135 FHS and superARTIS on the apron

DLR’s fly­ing he­li­copter sim­u­la­tor (FHS) and un­manned su­per­AR­TIS he­li­copter used a com­mon airspace dur­ing flight tests.
Rotor test stand
Ro­tor test stand
Image 7/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Rotor test stand

Re­searchers at the DLR site in Braun­schweig have test­ed a new method for mak­ing he­li­copters qui­eter, more en­er­gy-ef­fi­cient and less prone to vi­bra­tion.
AVES – air vehicle simulator
AVES – air ve­hi­cle sim­u­la­tor
Image 8/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

AVES – air vehicle simulator

The air ve­hi­cle sim­u­la­tor (AVES) con­sists of two high-qual­i­ty sys­tems for sim­u­lat­ing air­craft and he­li­copters at the very high­est lev­el.
High-altitude platform
High-al­ti­tude plat­form
Image 9/10, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

High-altitude platform

In the near fu­ture, fixed-wing air­craft fly­ing at very high al­ti­tudes could open up ap­pli­ca­tions that are cur­rent­ly the sole pre­serve of satel­lites.
Wing model in the wind tunnel
Wing mod­el in the wind tun­nel
Image 10/10, Credit: DNW-HST

Wing model in the wind tunnel

Re­al-time flut­ter anal­y­sis was car­ried out in the High-Speed Tun­nel (HST) at the DNW in Am­s­ter­dam.

The air transport system of tomorrow will be environment friendly, safe, quiet and efficient. It will connect people and markets and thus make an important contribution to the mobility needs of a global society. In tandem with this, the increase in global air traffic and the question of environmental responsibility pose major challenges for the aviation industry.

Shaping the air transport system of tomorrow

The main objectives of DLR aeronautics research are therefore to avoid the emission of pollutants from aircraft, to reduce aircraft noise, advance automation and electrification and to digitalise the aviation industry, all the way from development through to analysis-based certification, manufacturing and maintenance.

With its interdisciplinary research, DLR covers the complete air transport system, from individual components through to the technical challenges of entire aircraft and the complex interaction of air traffic. A total of 22 institutes and facilities are developing solutions, using innovative technologies and processes, in order to reveal new perspectives for air transport. With its research expertise across the entire air transport system, DLR can make well-founded proposals for next-but-one generation of aircraft.

The guiding concepts for DLR aviation research

Within DLR air transport research, six key concepts define the core challenges in aviation for safe and environment friendly flight. They focus the programmatic control on target products, across disciplinary and institute boundaries. The goal is to pursue and implement key technologies within the framework of national guiding concepts and international programmes, working together with industry. This aim extends to the virtual integration of an innovative aircraft.

Personnel from various institutes and research disciplines at DLR are working closely together on innovations for air transport. They cover the entire air transport system, from individual components through to the technical challenges of entire aircraft and the complex interaction of air traffic. In doing so, they are seeking to conduct a complete lifecycle assessment and technological evaluation.

The research programme of the Helmholtz Association

A whole-system approach is a prerequisite for influencing the overall air transport system. The influences and interactions of all technologies, processes and methods involved in the complete system must be recorded and evaluated simultaneously from the beginning. This guiding principle will be implemented in the future Helmholtz programme through four integrated programme themes:

  • Efficient vehicle
  • Clean propulsion
  • Components and systems
  • Air transportation and impact

These four programme themes will enable the exploration and evaluation of all the components involved in the air transport system, such as the aircraft, the passengers, operational activities including navigation and communications, the integration of the aircraft into the airspace and the environment, and aviation infrastructure – all through an integrated approach at the highest system level. The aircraft and the processes involved throughout its lifecycle, from design, development and manufacturing through operations and maintenance to decommissioning and recycling, are all taken into consideration. In addition, the thematic structure guarantees an even higher level of connection with the requirements and goals of the leading system suppliers.

Key technologies for environment friendly and efficient air transport are being researched, tested and implemented in cooperation with industrial partners.

  • Andreas Manecke
    Head of Di­rec­torate Aero­nau­tics
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-2830
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
Institutes and facilities
Research programme

Guid­ing con­cepts for DLR aero­nau­tics re­search

With­in DLR aero­nau­tics re­search, six key con­cepts ad­dress the core chal­lenges in air trans­port for safe and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tain­able flight.

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