The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Japanese Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) signed an agreement for closer cooperation on 1 March 2018 in Tokyo. The two organisations are therefore strengthening their existing collaboration in the fields of aerodynamics, lightweight construction and materials research. The RTRI is one of the world's most renowned railway and rail transport research institutions.
Research topics ideally complement each other
"The signing of this cooperation agreement is based on the existing trusting collaboration and many years of constructive exchange between the RTRI and DLR. We are looking forward to working more closely with one of the world's leading railway research institutes. The RTRI, with its application-oriented research, and DLR, with its basic rail research ideally complement each other," said Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board, at the contract signing.
At the signing ceremony, Wolfgang Scheremet, Director General of Industrial Policy at the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, emphasised: "This cooperation provides excellent opportunities for the development of new and improved rail technologies, which are essential for future mobility in the densely populated industrial nations of Germany and Japan."
Tunnel research and validation of simulation models
In future, the two organisations will collaborate more closely in areas such as aerodynamics, rail noise and pressure waves in tunnels. With its unique experimental facilities, such as its tunnel simulation facility in Göttingen, DLR can make important contributions to the cooperation. For its part, the RTRI has a lot of manufacturer data that can provide DLR researchers with valuable insights for the validation of their simulation models.
Railway research at RTRI and DLR
The Japanese Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) is funded by both the Japanese government and private railway companies. Japan has an extremely well-developed high-speed rail network and its Shinkansen high-speed train is one of its main modes of passenger transport. The RTRI researches new rail technologies as well as improvements to the safety and efficiency of current technology. Its research findings are regularly transferred and applied to the rail transport industry. At DLR, a total of five institutes conduct research into rail transport (Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Institute of Structures and Design, Institute of Materials Research, Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, Institute of Transportation Systems). Research topics include: vehicle concepts, vehicle structures, aerodynamic suspensions, rail noise, energy management, passenger flow and crash concepts.