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Video: DLR year in review 2013
Credit: DLR.
20. December 2013

What has a certain SANDRA to do with a digitally networked sky? And why do we consider a research flight that does not even take off newsworthy? Where exactly does the noise emitted by aircraft come from and how can it be reduced? How does an astronaut prepare for a six-month stay on the International Space Station, ISS ? The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) 2013 annual film has the answers.

From the wide variety of projects in 2013, we again chose a few exemplary ones -- SANDRA, for instance. Of course it is not a person, but the eponymous flight experiment carried out on DLR's Airbus A320 'D-ATRA' research aircraft. Its acronym 'Seamless Aeronautical Networking through integration of Data links Radios and Antennas' says it all; the goal is to develop an integral aeronautical communication system. And it's true -- DLR's research aircraft Dornier 728 is stationed in a hangar and, although it will not take off any time soon, it is still in service for science, or, more explicitly, for cabin design and research. A project called LiKab examines the influence of cabin light on aircraft passengers.

What else? The opening of DLR's 3500-square-metre research laboratory :envihab in Cologne, a 'pressure cooker' for materials of the future, a self-parking car, the CeraStorE competence centre for sustainable energy research, wind tunnel research and much more.

But, as said in the beginning, at DLR we only look back to take a look into the future. One of the highlights of 2014 will be 'Blue Dot', the mission of German European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst. On 28 May 2014, he will lift off for a six-month stay on the International Space Station, ISS. In the video, he explains how he prepares for the mission.