The implementation of the institute's excellent research requires modern engineering and manufacturing. Exceptional demands for experimental facilities often require solutions on the border to the technical and physical feasiblity. This is achieved at MP, using the latest technologies and procedures, coupled with multidisciplinary experience and the willingness to break the mould.
The institute has many years of experience in designing, testing and operating space hardware and ground support equipment for space probes, orbital platforms, rockets, parabolic flights and drop tower campaigns.
This expertise has been strengthened as part of the MAPHEUS missile program and with regard to new instruments for the scientific use of the ISS.
The reliable functionality of the experiment equipment under weightlessness must be ensured under outer space conditions such as vacuum, extreme temperature changes and high-energy radiation and, at the same time satisfy a wide range of experimental requirements.
For example, high-temperature furnaces with chemically reactive metal melts must simultaneously carry out precise movements of miniaturized parts in the sample containers - while ensuring safe process monitoring with X-ray equipment.
In another case, the essential parallel processing of up to 32 samples in high-speed melting furnaces used in sounding rockets required the development of an exceptional power source, real-time process control, and high-speed, high-resolution video recording. Other applications that are realized in difficult environments include diffusion wave spectroscopy, the generation and active control of electric and magnetic fields, effective data management at extremely high data rates, and high speed camera systems.
To minimize the delay from the idea to the finished system, complex electronic circuits and measuring components are developed, built and programmed inhouse.
Completing the process, the institute' runs prototype workshops in Cologne and Oberpfaffenhofen, whose highly specialized staff has many years of in-depth knowledge dealing with unusual special materials - from off-beat alloys through ceramics to aerogel and graphite foams. Their dedicated support on modern machines enables the short iterations of prototype optimization while reducing costs.
In the realization of new goals, we qualify students and young engineers and guide them to achieve exceptional capabilities in the exciting development, simulation and operation of space equipment and demanding ground facilities. In conjunction with the annual MAPHEUS sounding rocket, new physical insights can be obtained within a few months of the experiment idea.
The institute's engineering work focuses on: