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The primary objective of DLR aerospace research activities is to enhance the competitiveness of Germany and Europe's aerospace and air transport industries and to achieve governmental and societal objectives. In addition to fundamental research work, DLR is primarily concerned with applied aerospace research and development.

DLR has set itself the challenge of making the fast-growing air transport sector efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable. DLR's aerospace technology portfolio is geared towards the objectives stated in the European strategy paper 'Flightpath 2050'

The main aims are:
  • Reduce carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 75% and 90%, respectively
  • Reduce perceived noise levels by 65%
  • Reduce accident rates below one accident per 10 Mio. flights
  • Increase the volume of European air traffic to 25 million flights per year
  • Optimization of travel times: 90% of travelers within Europe shall be able to complete their journey, door to door, within 4 hours
To achieve these aims, the Advisory Council for Aeronautic Research in Europe (ACARE) has developed the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, or SRIA, upon which DLR aerospace strategy is largely based.

With its existing institutions, its active involvement in the German-Dutch Wind Tunnel (DNW) and the European Transonic Wind Tunnel (ETW) and a fleet of research aircraft, DLR is able to investigate all aspects of air transport systems. Research in this area covers land- and air-based operations at airports, the airplane as a highly complex system and flight management systems.

To ensure the objectives of 'Flightpath2050' are successfully implemented, DLR is expanding its capability for systems analysis and technological evaluation of air transport systems. An essential factor in developing enhanced evaluation capabilities is digitalisation of aeronautics research. DLR's technology portfolio places strong emphasis on these.

The helicopter plays a significant and largely independent role in aviation worldwide. Building on large-scale research facilities developed over more than 25 years, including the ROTOS rotor test apparatus and experimental aircraft such as the Bo-105 and EC 135 FHS helicopters, DLR carries out some of the world's most advanced research in the areas of rotor aerodynamics and dynamics, overall system specifications, the dynamic interaction between pilot and helicopter and the control and guidance of rotary-wing aircraft.

DLR's aeronautics research encompasses both civilian and military interests. The centre's military research goals are geared towards the long-term needs of the German defence ministry and are defined in close coordination with relevant authorities and with industry, both in Germany and across Europe.

In addition to applied research activities, fundamental research is an indispensable aspect of DLR's work. One particularly important focus is 'Air Transport and the Environment,' on which fundamental research is conducted by the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres (HGF). The researchers aim, first, to understand the considerable effect of growing volumes of air transport on the environment and climate and, second, to improve weather forecasting as applied to air travel.

DLR is linked with Europe's leading aeronautics research institutions through EREA (Association of European Research Establishments in Aeronautics). The institution enjoys a particularly close relationship with its French counterpart ONERA (l'Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales) and Dutch counterpart NLR (Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimtevaartlaboratorium).

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DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.

DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.

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Knowledge for tomorrow

About DLR

DLR is the Federal Republic of Germany’s research centre for aeronautics and space. The organisation also completes research in the areas of energy, transport, security and digitalisation. Acting on behalf of the federal government, the DLR Space Administration designs and implements Germany’s space programme, together with national and international partners. DLR is also the umbrella organisation for two project management agencies that promote research.

DLR has approximately 8600 employees at 27 locations in Germany. It also has international offices in Brussels, Paris, Tokyo and Washington D.C.

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