The Trauen site of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is situated on Lüneburg Heath, close to the German military airport at Fassberg. This handy location, far from any settlements of note and yet close to many major conurbations, has been in use since 1935 for cutting-edge research. The work and experiments of Prof. Eugen Sänger, who oversaw the construction of the rocket-engine development centre in Trauen and developed breathtaking engines for rockets and guided missiles, aroused particular interest. One of his ground-breaking innovations is still used today in almost all rocket engines: jet cooling by propellant.
In the 1960s, the first combustion experiments for the upper stage of the first European launch vehicle, the Europa, which had been developed in Germany. Other activities later established themselves in the available test facilities, such as aviation firefighting technology, acoustic tests to reduce jet-engine noise and tests to ascertain various materials’ resistance to re-entry. The employees, who share their site with EADS Astrium, are currently working primarily on the preparations for tests to be carried out in the fields of firefighting and noise mitigation.
The runways at Fassberg airport can be used if need be.
The Emphasis of the Research
Research at DLR’s Trauen site focuses on the preparations for tests to be carried out in the fields of jet-engine technology, acoustics, structural analysis and design/aerodynamics.
Practical experiments and tests serve primarily technological and systematic aims:
- Improvement of the acoustic ratio of engines in the field of aviation technology
- Development of adaptable, damage-tolerant, thermostable light-frame constructions
- Creation and development of Satellite propellants
Work in the field of firefighting technology – one of the stand-out themes within aviation – concentrates on:
- Certification for aviation materials
- Burn ratio of fuselages
- Testing of fire extinguishers and fire retardants
- Tests to improve fire-detection systems
- Tests on extinguishing fires involving mineral oils
There are several special test units: in addition to fire-testing laboratories with the "Ohio-State-University-(OSU) rooms" for standard material testing and a test bench to simulate the burn ratio of aircraft skins, the Trauen site has a one-to-one replica of an aircraft hold and an area for recreating aircraft-crash fire-extinguishing scenarios, a propeller and engine test stand, and THERMEX-A and THERMEX-G stands for simulating high thermal and mechanical loads or testing heat shields. A compressor station with an installed capacity of 2000 kW enables material testing to be carried out in the heat of the engine area.
A machine for laboratory use was built for the treatment of water. A patent for this machine has been applied for. The machine makes it possible to treat waste water containing hydrazine and other toxins, such as ethidium bromide from research laboratories. The spectrum of services on offer is completed with a small workshop for experiment support.