Laboratory for Sensor Testing and Assessment on a Rotation Simulator (STARS)

The laboratory for Sensor Testing and Assessment on a Rotation Simulator (STARS) is a large-scale facility at the DLR Institute of Space Systems in Bremen. It supports the development of high-precision navigation systems, which are an important component in space travel, aviation, seafaring and autonomous mobility. Navigation systems are also becoming increasingly important in smartphones and cars.

Developing navigation systems and testing them under real conditions

This German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) research facility offers the possibility to test yaw rate, acceleration and sun sensors as well as star trackers in a laboratory environment. The sensors are stimulated by the rotary table itself, the local gravitational field, the Sun simulator or the starry sky outside the building. These investigations can be conducted at room temperature or in a thermal chamber, allowing the system to be tested under controlled temperature conditions between +80 degrees Celsius and -40 degrees Celsius.

STARS also provides a real-time test environment that enables not only static testing, but also dynamic and hardware-in-the-loop tests. As such, STARS is able to assist with the development of navigation systems from Phase 0 to Phase D. The combination of these capabilities makes STARS a unique test facility.

STARS offers the possibility to generate realistic measurements with precise instruments, thus allowing the quality of sensors to be checked. The freely programmable trajectories enable the generation of realistic measurements for the navigation system, supporting the development of navigation algorithms.


Volker Speelmann

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

Matias Bestard Körner

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Space Systems
Navigation and Control Systems
Robert-Hooke-Straße 7, 28359 Bremen