June 16, 2023 | Insight into current research

DLR at the Paris Air Show 2023 in France

  • The event at Le Bourget from 19 to 25 June 2023 is one of the largest trade fairs in the industry.
  • The DLR booth in the German joint stand (Hall 2C, C357) will present, among other things, the possibilities for remote sensing of Earth, cooperation projects and future prospects for aerospace.
  • Focus: Aeronautics, space, energy, transport, security, digitalisation

Satellites for environmental monitoring, high-altitude platforms and climate-friendly propulsion systems for air transport – these are just three examples of current research work that the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be showcasing at the Paris Air Show from 19 to 25 June 2023. The event, which is being held at Le Bourget airport in France, is one of the largest trade fairs in the aerospace industry. After a break in 2021, the Paris Air Show will now take place again for the first time since 2019.

DLR will be presenting these selected highlights at the joint area of the German Aerospace Industries Association (Bundesverband der deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrtindustrie; BDLI) in Hall 2C, Stand C357.

Earth observation – an indispensable global tool

Earth observation satellites provide a continuous and globally objective view of Earth. The data from these satellites not only show how the environment and climate are changing. They also provide the basis for responding to these developments. What is the state of the forests, the bodies of water or the air in the cities? Where can the Sun, wind or bioenergy best be used? The data from space help us to find solutions for the coming, far-reaching changes in society. The exhibit at the DLR stand allows viewers to virtually immerse themselves in the fascinating world of remote sensing of Earth and thus gain an impression of the diverse possibilities of the technology.

MERLIN – Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission

The German-French MEthane Remote sensing LIdar missioN (MERLIN) is a climate sensing satellite designed to monitor the greenhouse gas methane in Earth’s atmosphere. Using a lidar instrument, MERLIN will detect and monitor the greenhouse gas from an altitude of approximately 500 kilometres. The goal of the three-year mission is, among other things, to create a global map of methane concentrations. In addition, the mission will provide information about the regions of the Earth where methane is introduced into the atmosphere and the areas where it is removed again.

Microlaunchers – small rockets, big market potential

With the boom in the microlauncher market, new players have entered the 'space stage'. More than ten companies show great potential in this sector. With HyImpulse, Isar Aerospace and Rocket Factory Augsburg, three of them are from Germany. In the microlauncher competition organised the German Space Agency at DLR, German start-ups were initially funded with 25 million euros through ESA's 'Boost!' programme. In return, the young companies must develop and offer launch services commercially. By subscribing to Boost! Element 3 at the 2022 ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, Germany, as programme leader, is continuing its strong commitment to this sector.

Ariane 6 – research and test infrastructure for future space transport

Making tomorrow's launch systems more capable, more cost-effective and safer with novel propulsion systems and environmentally friendly fuels – this is what approximately 250 DLR personnel are working on at the Lampoldshausen site. With scientific expertise, flexible infrastructure and openness to the use of futuristic and cost-reducing technologies, Lampoldshausen has developed into the leading European research and technology location for liquid propulsion systems and rocket stages. Currently, hot run tests with the complete Ariane 6 upper stage are taking place on the ESA test stand P5.2, which was specially developed for this purpose. Hot run tests place the highest demands on the test stand technology, the team and the infrastructure. The test campaign is making an important contribution to qualifying Ariane 6 for its first launch.

LUMEN – technology demonstrator for the development of innovative propulsion concepts

In the LUMEN (Liquid Upper Stage Demonstrator Engine) project, DLR is developing a pump-fed liquid oxygen and methane engine. The focus is on investigating the behaviour of a complete liquid-fuelled rocket cycle and its individual components. The tests are taking place on the European research and technology P8 test stand at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen. The project includes the design, manufacture and operation of a demonstrator for a cryogenic upper stage engine. With its systems expertise, the DLR research team is supporting the German and European space industry in the development of innovative and cost-effective rocket engines.

HAP alpha – high-flying uncrewed solar-powered platform

High-altitude uncrewed platforms represent a solar-powered alternative to satellites for performing tasks in the field of Earth remote sensing in a sustainable manner. In contrast to their counterparts in Earth orbit, High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) can be manufactured and launched more cost-effectively. They can be landed again and reused for other missions. HAP alpha is a joint project of 16 DLR institutes and facilities in which an uncrewed and solar-powered high-altitude platform is to be built and flight tested as a technology demonstrator. HAP alpha should later be able to ascend into the lower stratosphere (approximately 20 kilometres altitude).

ISTAR research aircraft – technology demonstrator

Aircraft are particularly susceptible to vibrations because of their lightweight structure. These occur, for example, during flight manoeuvres, in gusts or when the landing gear touches down. In order to better understand the structural behaviour, DLR investigates the vibrations on the ground, in flight tests or in simulations. The In-flight Systems and Technology Airborne Research (ISTAR) aircraft has been part of the DLR research fleet since 2019. Once it has been fully upgraded, it will be able to test characteristics of new aircraft designs, real or virtual, crewed or uncrewed, under actual operating conditions. The ISTAR demonstrator shows the sensor technology and instrumentation with a live evaluation of the vibration behaviour as it is in the ISTAR research aircraft.

CUDO – drone defence

The number of commercially available Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is increasing. A carelessly flown or malfunctioning UAS can, for example, pose a threat to crowds at concerts or sporting events, important infrastructure or other airspace users. Due to remote-controlled or autonomous operation, it is often not possible to identify the target of a UAS or the operator. In the Counter-UAS Demonstrator (CUDO) project, DLR is researching technologies to provide protection against unlawfully operated drones. The research focuses on detection and interception in the air without endangering outsiders. Prototypes are being constructed for this purpose.

H2ELECTRA – regional aircraft of the future

DLR is conducting research into novel, low-emission aircraft engines for civil air transport and is thus aiming for the climate-friendly and quiet aircraft of the future. The H2ELECTRA model visualises the high system complexity of new types of engines. It depicts the possibility of powering a regional aircraft electrically using hydrogen. The aircraft is designed for a range of 1000 nautical miles (approximately 1850 kilometres) with 50 passengers at a flight speed of Mach 0.5 (about 600 kilometres per hour). The H2ELECTRA model demonstrates technological possibilities and future perspectives for air transport.

Paris Air Show

The Paris Air Show (French – Salon International de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace – Paris Le Bourget; SIAE) has a long history. It traditionally takes place every two years, alternating with the International Aerospace Exhibition (Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung; ILA) Berlin.

The 54th Paris Air Show will begin on Monday, 19 June 2023, with four days for trade visitors. This will be followed by three days for the general public. In 2019, more than 2450 exhibitors from 49 countries presented themselves at Le Bourget. 316,000 visitors were registered in total, including almost 140,000 trade visitors and more than 300 official delegations from 98 countries. In addition to services and products for civil and military aviation, the 'spacecraft, satellites and telecommunications' sector will also be strongly represented in Paris.

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Andreas Schütz

Head of Corporate Communications, DLR Spokesperson
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-2474

Falk Dambowsky

Head of Media Relations, Editor
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-3959

Katja Lenz

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-5401

Elisabeth Mittelbach

Team leader Communications & Media Relations
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Space Agency at DLR
Königswinterer Straße 522-524, 53227 Bonn
Tel: +49 228 447-385