#PioneeringAerospace – Addressing climate change with aerospace technologies
The theme of ILA Berlin 2022 is #PioneeringAerospace. From 22 to 26 June, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be present at the largest aerospace trade fair in the EU, exhibiting groundbreaking technologies for emission-free air transport. In the field of space, the observation and analysis of the rapidly changing Earth will be the focus of the trade fair presentation. Technologies for Earth observation make it possible to record the changes and environmental damage caused by global warming and population growth in detail and in real time, so that targeted countermeasures can be implemented. DLR is once again one of the largest institutional exhibitors in 2022. The DLR stand in Hall 6 (Stand 310), the Space Pavilion and the stand of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in Hall 4 (Stand 230, ILA Future Lab) will provide a wide range of insights into current research work and successful transfer and spin-off projects. Four aircraft from DLR’s research fleet will be on display in the outdoor area of the ILA, including, for the first time, the Dassault Falcon 2000LX ISTAR.
“Air travel and spaceflight are integral parts of our daily lives. Air transport shapes our mobility and space-based systems have become important tools for us. Both contribute to the exchange between different cultures and promote our prosperity,” explains Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, Chair of the DLR Executive Board, “With the theme ‘Pioneering Aerospace’, ILA 2022 will offer every opportunity for an exchange about exciting innovations for climate-friendly air transport as well as space technologies to observe the consequences of climate change.”
Live talks from DLR’s transparent studio
This year, for the first time, the DLR stand has a transparent studio. From there, moderated talks with representatives of DLR’s Executive Board will be broadcast live on trade visitor days and streamed on DLR’s YouTube channel. DLR will also be posting daily from ILA on Twitter and instagram. All information about DLR’s locations and exhibits can be found on our dedicated page for ILA Berlin 2022.
Air transport – on the way to zero-emission flight
DLR’s new aviation strategy reveals the essential building blocks for putting air transport on the path to climate neutrality. Highly efficient aircraft configurations and low-emission propulsion concepts will be combined with sustainably produced kerosine and hydrogen derived using renewable energy sources. These will be used together with a climate-friendly air transport system with optimised flight routes and processes. Air transport growth can be decoupled from emissions by the middle of the century. In the short and medium term, particularly for long-haul flights, power-based synthetic fuels (Sustainable Aviation Fuel; SAF) and optimised flight routes are promising approaches to reduce the warming effect of contrails and quickly increase the climate compatibility of air transport. DLR is demonstrating the possibilities of manufacturing and using SAFs on an industrial scale in the future using renewable energy sources, as well as the broad climate protection potential of optimised flight routes. In the long term, new generations of aircraft will have an impact and make air transport more diverse. To this end, visitors can use the ‘eFlight’ aircraft model, which is designed as a technological ‘construction kit’, to explore various possibilities for making future aircraft climate neutral. The rapid market introduction of new technologies will be crucial, and digitalisation will play its part in this.
Debut of the DLR ISTAR research aircraft
DLR operates the largest civilian research fleet in Europe. Three DLR research aircraft and a research helicopter will be on display at ILA. Some of these highly modified aircraft are the subject of aeronautical research and others are used as platforms for scientific equipment. Their tasks range from testing new aeronautical technologies through Earth and ocean observation to atmospheric research. The Cessna Grand Caravan is on display. It is DLR’s ‘flying auditorium’. Visitors can also see the Bo-105 research helicopter. It is used to investigate, for example, low-noise approach profiles, pilot assistance systems and flights with external loads. In addition, the national demonstrator for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), the Do 228-101 (D-CODE) will be on site. The Dassault Falcon 2000LX In-flight Systems and Technologies Airborne Research (ISTAR) aircraft, for which the purchase contract was signed at ILA in 2018, is now making its debut at the show and is likely to attract particular attention.
Space – data on the state of the Earth
In the space sector, DLR is presenting missions and projects that help to better understand climate change and its consequences. With the Tandem-L mission – a DLR proposal for a highly innovative radar satellite mission – Germany could provide the international community with an opportunity to objectively record the environment and observe environmental changes. With Tandem-L, it would be possible to observe a multitude of dynamic processes in the biosphere, geosphere, cryosphere and hydrosphere with a quality and resolution never before achieved. Seven essential climate variables could be recorded simultaneously. The two satellites required for this could, for example, provide a 3D image of the entire landmass of the Earth every week, as well as detailed information on the biomass and the carbon it contains.
In order to be able to operate satellites safely, cost-effectively, sustainably and efficiently, numerous innovations and support technologies are required. For example, DLR’s stand at ILA will feature the Space Situational Awareness Centre, ultra-light satellite masts for deployment in space and ideas for re-using rocket stages.
Globally unique – ILA Space Pavilion
Sustainability and climate protection, digitalisation and research, as well as protection and security are the main topics at the ILA’s unique ‘Space Pavilion’ in Hall 6. In an area of 1400 square metres, DLR, ESA, BMWK and BDLI will be demonstrating that space research and space applications have long since become part of people’s everyday lives and that there is more to them than mere fascination. The extensive stage and event programme with top-class participants will focus on the benefits of space for life on Earth as well as current trends. Of the 51 exhibits in the Space Pavilion, 33 are from DLR. The range includes Earth observation and satellite communications, New Space and innovation, as well as research, exploration and access to space. Space plays a central role in the fight against climate change. Earth observation satellites, such as the Sentinels of the European Copernicus programme or from national missions such as the German environmental satellite EnMAP, which was launched on 1 April 2022, provide highly precise measurements and long-term data sets.
In addition, the Space Pavilion will focus on the current megatrends in space, such as New Space. This refers to the commercialisation of spaceflight and its integration with other sectors such as motor vehicles or agriculture. Another aspect is the contribution of space to security and defence. For example, space infrastructure provides relevant information, and a secure communications infrastructure enables government agencies to make effective decisions and supports emergency services on the ground. Research on the International Space Station (ISS) will also be presented. It enables advances in medicine and technology and allows the transfer of technology to many sectors. The German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, who has just returned from his first ISS mission – ‘Cosmic Kiss’ – will be a guest in the Space Pavilion and report on his experiences.
From science to application – technology, innovation and transfer at DLR
DLR is the cradle and engine of many technologies that are used today in aerospace and will shape our future. Optimised flight routes, efficient and quiet engines and solutions for emission-free air transport are just as much a part of this as robotic arms for working in space and satellites for Earth observation. Every day, new technologies, ideas and valuable expertise are created at DLR. Together with partners from industry – from start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises to global corporations – DLR turns this potential into innovations, transfer projects and spin-offs. The goal is to make industry successful through research. For this to work, scientific results must be made scalable and usable, that is, they must make their way from the laboratory into real applications. To this end, DLR develops and operates approximately 180 large-scale research facilities – for example, research aircraft, wind tunnels, test stands for rocket engines and test centres for fuel cell systems. Successful spin-offs from DLR in the fields of robotics, solar fuels, laser communications and materials engineering show that this technology transfer works.