Concurrent Engineering Facility (CEF)

The Concurrent Engineering Facility (CEF) in Bremen is the design laboratory for the System Analysis Space Segment department at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Space Systems, where feasibility studies and the early design phases of future space missions are carried out with the aid of concurrent engineering (CE). CE is a de­sign pro­cess that ex­tends or re­places tra­di­tion­al en­gi­neer­ing pro­cess­es through the joint, par­al­lel work of a mul­ti-dis­ci­plinary team at the same site, thus op­ti­mis­ing in­di­vid­u­al de­sign cy­cles. The aim is to make each respective project as efficient and consistent as possible from the very outset.

Design laboratory for simultaneous data access and direct communication

The large-scale Concurrent Engineering Facility (CEF) provides the necessary setting and tools for the CE process. The design team is guided by experienced study leaders from the CEF team.

During this process, the CEF enables simultaneous data access across all disciplines, as well as communication between participants using a range of mediums. This includes both face-to-face and digital modes, supported by appropriate hardware and software elements and communication tools. The laboratory is divided into three working areas and has over 21 PC workspaces and various multimedia functionalities. Guided sessions for one study are carried out in the main room, while the other two rooms are used for group discussions during the non-moderated phases, or are available for use by extra working groups or observers.

Over 65 studies are currently being carried out at the CEF. Although the focus is on designing satellites, exploration modules and space transport systems, it has also been used to develop life support systems for human spaceflight, infrastructure for Earth and other celestial bodies, and non-space systems. As well as supporting internal DLR activities, the CEF also provides a venue for studies conducted with partners or completely external parties. Current partners and customers come from various international institutions, including universities, research institutes, space agencies and industry.


Volker Speelmann

Head of Research Infrastructures
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Executive Board department for Innovation, Transfer and Research Infrastructure
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne

Antonio Martelo Gómez

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Space Systems
System Analysis Space Segment
Robert-Hooke-Straße 7, 28359 Bremen