On 2 December 2010, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) opened the world's most powerful aero-acoustic wind tunnel in collaboration with German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (Deutsch-Niederländische Windkanäle; DNW). Scientists use wind tunnels to investigate the aero-acoustic properties of objects such as aircraft engines and wings. Not only is the Braunschweig wind tunnel one of the most powerful of its kind, but also it is so versatile that it can be used for cars as well as planes. This presents new possibilities in which to record and reduce sources of noise pollution.
What looks like a wind tunnel is actually an air intake chamber. Engine researchers use the 16-metre-long, eight metre- diameter enclosure to remove turbulence from air before it reaches the compressor of an engine during testing. This allows them to achieve optimal and repeatable conditions for their experiments.Fans and compressors are important research topics at the DLR Institute of Propulsion Technology by reason of the great influence they exert on the performance of engines and their noise emissions. The researchers are working on new designs for axial and radial compressors, and verifying their multidisciplinary development techniques using prototypes. The multi-shaft compressor test facility, shown in this image being prepared for a test, is essential for this process.
DAAD / Lannert.
For the measurement campaign, a series of microphones were positioned at various places inside the engine and around the exhaust area and recording their signals simultaneously. These signals formed the basis for the acoustic field analysis.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
The fan blades on the Ultra High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) test system at the DLR Institute of Propulsion Technology.
The new helicopter model of Airbus Helicopters can fly at speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour thanks to DLR research.
DLR is playing a key role in the aerodynamic design of the wings and the tail plane of the RACER high-speed helicopter.
The new DLR Institute of Software Methods for Product Virtualisation in Dresden will pool the skills required to undertake the first complete virtual aircraft flight in the long term.
Attached to the underside of DLR’s Dornier Do 228-212 research plane – the ‘Freespace Experimental Laser Terminal II’ for data communications between the aircraft and the ground. Numerous measurements were taken with the system. The relevant properties of the atmosphere were determined in order to optimise the data transmission systems.
In September 2016, HY4, the first four-seater passenger aircraft powered solely by a fuel cell system, embarked on its first flight from Stuttgart airport.
The HALO (High Altitude and LOng Range) research aircraft is based on the ultra-long-range G 550 business jet produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. With a range of more than 8000 kilometres, measurements on the scale of continents are possible; the research aircraft can reach all regions, from the poles to the tropics, and remote areas of the Pacific Ocean.
The Falcon is the only research aircraft in Europe that is legally able to fly at high altitudes and over long distances in volcanic ash clouds.
The Airbus A320-232 'D-ATRA' (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft) is the largest member of the DLR research fleet.
DLR/Evi Blink (CC-BY 3.0).
Research flights by NASA and DLR took place for three weeks at the beginning of 2018, from Ramstein Air Base in Rhineland-Palatinate. The focus was on particle emissions from alternative fuels and their influence on cloud formation from condensation trails and thus their impact on the climate. Close behind the DLR A320 Advanced Technology Research Aircraft (ATRA), NASA’s ‘Flying Laboratory’, a DC-8, samples the exhaust plume of the Airbus. On board, scientists measured the composition of the exhaust gas and investigated the effects of biofuels such as HEFA on the formation of soot particles and ice crystals.