DLR Opens Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors in Hanover

Bose-Einstein condensate in Cold Atoms Lab icon image. (Credit: NASA)
  • The DLR Institute of Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors mainly researches quantum technologies.
  • Areas of application are in space travel, earth observation, navigation and sensors.
  • The DLR institute was officially opened on May 30, 2022.
  • Focus: space travel, quantum technologies

HANOVER, Germany (DLR PR) — Navigation accurate to the centimeter, a tap-proof Internet or autonomous control of vehicles without a radio connection – the promise of new instruments based on quantum mechanical processes and methods. The Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Hanover is developing such technologies. On May 30, 2022, the institute was officially opened. In the future, around 100 employees will work in six departments at the Hanover and Bremen locations.

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Ger­man En­MAP Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite Launch­es Suc­cess­ful­ly on SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 Mission

Launch of Fal­con 9 with Ger­man en­vi­ron­men­tal satel­lite En­MAP. (Credit: SpaceX)
  • At 18:24 CEST on 1 April (12:24 local time), the first German-developed hyperspectral satellite (EnMAP) successfully launched on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
  • The mission is being managed by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bonn on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK).
  • OHB-System AG was commissioned to develop and build the satellite and the hyperspectral instrument. Meanwhile, the ground segment has been developed and will be operated by DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen. The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam is the scientific coordinator for the mission.
  • Focus: Space, Earth observation, climate change, environmental protection and nature conservation

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — It all began in 2003 with a competition announced by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) as part of the National Space Programme. The task was to design and build a new type of hyperspectral instrument and a satellite to carry it, and to test both the instrument and its satellite for several years in the harsh conditions of space. At the same time, an (inter)national community of scientists was formed to define the user requirements and objectives for the first German hyperspectral mission, which was also to be the first of its kind in Europe. What data about Earth should be collected with EnMAP, and for what purpose? This is how the special environmental satellite – the abbreviation stands for Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program – was created.

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Nutrient Mixing System for Future Lunar Greenhouses

Greenhouse concept for use on the moon and Mars. (Credit: LIQUIFER Systems Group)

BREMEN, Germany (DLR PR) — The development of greenhouse systems is essential in order to enable life on the moon and Mars in the long term in the future. This requires bio-regenerative life support systems that close vital cycles. After more than a year of joint design and development work in cooperation between the Dutch company Priva and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), two prototypes of a nutrient mixing system for future lunar and Mars greenhouses have now been completed and installed. Tests of the promising systems begin in the DLR’s EDEN laboratory in Bremen. The aim is to set up a 1: 1 demonstrator of a lunar greenhouse system there by 2025.

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DLR Establishes Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors

Bose-Einstein condensate in the Cold Atoms Lab. (Credit: NASA)
  • Bose-Einstein condensates, novel atomic clocks, laser and matter wave interferometry are promising quantum technologies for use in space.
  • Satellites modernized with quantum technology offer enormous potential for satellite-based earth observation, communication and navigation.
  • The new DLR institute will establish itself with up to 120 employees in the quantum quarter of the University of Hannover.

HANNOVER, Germany (DLR PR) — Quantum-based measurement technologies will revolutionize the sensor technology of satellites in the future. Quantum sensors based on Bose-Einstein condensates, novel atomic clocks, laser and matter wave interferometry are just some of the quantum technologies that are about to make the leap to routine use in space. In the course of a “second quantum revolution”, an unprecedented increase in the precision of measurement technology and sensors in space travel is taking place with previously untapped application possibilities. 

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Germany Establishes Space Weather Service

Space weather affects the Earth’s magnetic field. (Credit: NASA)

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — It is particularly easy to recognize by the auroras: the particle radiation of the sun. But the sun’s plasma eruptions not only create the natural spectacle in the polar regions. They can also interfere with satellites. In extreme cases, space weather even affects the infrastructure on earth. The Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) observes space weather and researches to better understand and predict the interactions. The DLR Institute in Neustrelitz (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) opened on May 26, 2021.

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Third Test Cell for the European Research and Technology Test Bench P8

Firing tests of a LOX/methane combustion chamber have been conducted on the DLR P8 bench. (Credits: ArianeGroup)
  • DLR, CNES and ArianeGroup inaugurate the expansion of the European research and technology test bench P8.3 with a virtual celebration.
  • Whether science or industry – the P8.3 offers a unique research and innovation environment for liquid-chemical space propulsion and promotes the fast industrial application of innovative technologies of future propulsion systems.
  • Operation with different fuel combinations.
  • Development and validation of demonstrators with different levels of technology maturity possible.

LAMPODSHAUSEN, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French Space Agency Center National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the company ArianeGroup the European research and technology test bench P8 expanded. The partners opened the new P8.3 test cell on April 14, 2021 as part of a virtual celebration. 

With the expansion, DLR has created the prerequisites for future space propulsion systems to be developed and tested almost entirely at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen. DLR Lampoldshausen has unique skills, infrastructure and many years of experience in this area. The interaction between research and development creates important synergies and strengthens engine expertise as an important pillar of European space transport.

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NASA and DLR Strength­en Co­op­er­a­tion

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — On 17 December 2020, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) extended their framework agreement on bilateral cooperation for a further ten years.

The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, Chair of the DLR Executive Board, Professor Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, and Member of the DLR Executive Board and Head of the DLR Space Administration, Walther Pelzer, who met via video conference to mark the occasion.

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DES­TINY+ – Ger­many and Japan Be­gin New As­ter­oid Mis­sion

Destiny spacecraft (Credit: JAXA/Kashikagaku)
  • In 2024, the Japanese-German space mission DESTINY+ will launch on a journey to asteroid 3200 Phaethon.
  • The mission’s key instrument is the German DESTINY+ Dust Analyzer (DDA), which will collect and analyse cosmic dust samples during the entire flight of the spacecraft.
  • The cooperation agreement for the bilateral mission was signed by DLR and JAXA on 11 November 2020 as part of a joint strategy dialogue meeting.

COLOGNE (DLR PR) — How did life arrive on Earth? To investigate this and to address fundamental questions about the evolution of celestial bodies in our Solar System, the Japanese-German space mission DESTINY+  (Demonstration and Experiment of Space Technology for  INterplanetary voYage with Phaethon fLyby and dUst Science), will launch in 2024 on a journey to asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

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