Research Field

Lightweight Structures for Space Applications

Lightweight. Reliable. Temperature-Resistant.

The research field 'Lightweight Structures for Space Applications' has a clear focus: to consider the whole system in order to find new solutions for every detail. Spaceflight places many diverse demands on structural systems; they have to be light, reliable and above all resistant to thermal loads of between -250 °C and +2000 °C.

Every day, this research group deals with the whole process chain from the materials through to airworthy prototypes. Their work mainly focuses on the use of fibre-reinforced plastics and ceramics, while integrating production methods and technologies into design and simulation processes. Digitalisation opens up possibilities for generating an increasing number of unconventional and innovative system solutions. The latest, flexibly configurable mechanical and thermal test equipment is used for verification purposes, supplemented by access to flight tests in realistic conditions.

A special feature of this research field is the development of innovative approaches for the cost-efficient development and construction of highly integrated commercial satellite systems, creating new standards in this area in cooperation with industry and university partners time and again.


Hendrik Weihs

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Structures and Design
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart