The Institute of Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines

DLR Institute of Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines: New Home For Digitization
Presentation of the new institute building as part of the groundbreaking ceremony on 20.10.2021

The DLR Institute of Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines researches new engine technologies by coupling numerical and experimental methods to validate innovative solutions. The technical challenges here are high speeds, high temperatures, high pressure ratios and the associated complex load spectra of the engine components in conjunction with increased service life requirements.

A particular focus of the Institute's research activities is the "Virtual Engine", in which the Institute coordinates the activities of various DLR institutes together with the Institute of Propulsion Technology. On the one hand, the Virtual Engine is a competence platform for mapping various physical aspects of the engine (structural mechanics, aerodynamics, acoustics, combustion, ...) across all engine components (compressor, combustion chamber, turbine, secondary air system, ...) across all scale levels both numerically efficiently and with high precision (Virtual Engine). In addition, a virtual testbench for simulation-based engine development is to be developed and applied using high-resolution methods. These high-resolution methods are developed and applied both in the field of aerodynamics (scale-resolving CFD) and in the field of long-term damage to structural-mechanical parts of the engine (computational multiphysics).

The digital models of new and innovative solutions for parts and components in future engines and gas turbines must be experimentally validated in the operationally relevant performance and scale range. In unique test benches, which for the first time allow mechanical, thermal and chemical loads (exhaust gas) for turbine components to be superimposed, tests are carried out to determine whether new materials or manufacturing processes (e.g. additive processes) meet the increased service life requirements. The aim is to experimentally validate new scale-resolving, numerical methods that can be used to calculate and optimize the service life and reliability of demanding, highly stressed components and materials.

However, an efficient and, above all, traceable comparison between the diverse simulation and test results, especially with the very large amounts of data, is only possible if all the resources and processes involved and their metadata as well as the data flows involved are mapped digitally in a consistent and continuous manner. This research activity thus forms the digital backbone that runs through all of the institute's other key research areas.

Main research areas

  • Development of a platform for a virtual engine (Virtual Engine)
  • Development and application of numerical methods for scale-resolving simulation in the field of CFD (Scale-resolving CFD)
  • Development and application of extended, physics-based service life calculation methods (computational multiphysics) with a focus on scale-resolving methods (multiscale), which take into account all physical effects and their interactions (multi-physics).
  • Development, construction and operation of rotor test benches for engine rotor disks and drums and the secondary air system under engine-related loads and the associated measurement technology (rotor testing)
  • Development, construction and operation of test benches for materials and components under simultaneous mechanical, thermal and chemical loads (corrosion) and the associated measurement technology (MTC testing)
  • Development of methods, software and hardware solutions for the digitalization and automation of all administrative and scientific processes and data and the associated data management (digitalization, automation and data management)


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Ardey

Acting Director
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines