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Press Releases

Radar network for safe flight operations at vertiports

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: February 01, 2024

For the first time, visitors at the 2024 Olympic Games will be able to fly to venues using air taxis. Vertical takeoff aircraft such as drones, multirotors and air taxis will take off from and land on pads known as vertiports. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR are developing an entirely digital sensor network, including a radar sensor, that in the future will be able to closely monitor air traffic at a vertiport and ensure safe flight operations. The system includes decentralized active and passive sensors with fully autonomous functionality, linking to each other and collectively sensing the port.

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“Multi-color Vision” for Drone Flight, Vertical Farming and Autonomous Driving

Press Release Fraunhofer IWS: January 29, 2024

High-resolution hyperspectral images are set to take quality assurance and increased efficiency in industry, agriculture, and autonomous driving to a new level. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden heads a European consortium of twelve companies and research institutes tackling this objective in the project “HyperImage – A universal spectral image sensor platform for industry, agriculture, and autonomous driving”. The European Union is funding the project with a total of 5.6 million EUR over a period of 3.5 years.

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GESTRA: Successful Completion of Full Operational Demonstration

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: December 18, 2023

A new era in space observation begins in 2024 for Germany and, consequently, Europe: The radar system GESTRA, developed and built by the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR on behalf of the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) Space Agency, has started its final verification in December 2023 after an intensive and successful test and verification phase. This marks the commencement of the several-month acceptance process for this globally unique space monitoring system.

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ESA Mission FORUM: “A thermometer turned satellite with extreme precision”

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: December 14, 2023

Measuring how Earth is losing its cool - that is the undertaking of the FORUM mission. The European Space Agency's (ESA) satellite mission, scheduled for 2027, aims to analyze Earth's heat budget in order to better understand global warming and Earth’s climate system. For the spectrometer on board the satellite, researchers from Jena have developed a novel diamond structure that enables precise measurements on the far-infrared spectrum. The first flight hardware has now been delivered.

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Thrust for Hybrid Electric Flying

Press Release Fraunhofer IWU: December 07, 2023

Several Fraunhofer Institutes and the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg, under the leadership of Rolls-Royce Germany and other partners such as the research institution ACCESS, are collaborating on the future of hybrid electric flying. Supported by the state of Brandenburg and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, the partners are researching an entirely new propulsion system for medium-range aircraft with up to 35 passengers.

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Scalable solutions for green hydrogen production in South Africa

Press Release Fraunhofer IMWS: December 04, 2023

South Africa could play an important role in the coming years as a reliable producer of green hydrogen — including as a supplier for Germany. However, the storage and distribution of this resource currently poses challenges. This is where the recently launched Fraunhofer joint research project HySecunda comes in, which is a cooperation between nine Fraunhofer institutes and the Fraunhofer Academy. The project aims to find optimized solutions for produc-ing, storing and certifying green hydrogen. In addition, the consortium is sup-porting efforts to build capacity in the region and in current projects on hy-drogen-based fuels for the aviation industry.

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Drones protect wind turbines from ice

Press Release Fraunhofer: December 01, 2023

Damp, cold conditions are the enemy of wind power. If a layer of ice forms on the rotor blades, this can result in rotational imbalance and, hence, increased wear. In such cases, the turbines often have to be shut down for several days, leading to massive losses for the operators due to the pause in electricity production. Now, for the first time, a Fraunhofer team has succeeded in using drones to protect rotor blades against ice. The new technique has been developed jointly by experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in the project “TURBO — Temporary coating by means of drones.”

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Clean Sky 2 "MFFD": Ready for robots – Welding thermoplastic aircraft fuselage structures

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: December 01, 2023

On November 28, 2023, a stakeholder event with around 100 participants took place in the context of the "Multi Functional Fuselage Demonstrator" ("MFFD") at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in the Research Center CFK NORD in Stade, Germany. With the participation of the European project partners, a comprehensive overview of the current status of the demonstrator was provided. Particular attention was paid to the advanced assembly process using thermoplastic welding techniques as well as the presentation of the pre-integrated thermoplastic upper and lower shells.

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Increased efficiency of rotor blade production for wind turbines using PeelPLAS® release film from Fraunhofer IFAM

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: November 17, 2023

Successful completion of the joint project ”Optimized rotor blade production through release agent-free process and material systems” – “OptiBlade” – funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

By developing release agent-free process and material systems in the sub-project “Release film technology for optimized rotor blade production” of the joint project ”OptiBlade”, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM, together with their partners Olin Blue Cube Germany and Infiana Germany, succeeded in optimizing rotor blade production for wind turbines, thereby providing the basis for considerably reducing their manufacturing costs. The cost-efficient production automation achieved, including increased quality assurance and improvements in health protection and ergonomics during production, will enable the expansion of wind turbines to be driven forward in the context of the Energy Concept 2050.

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Autonomous cargo drone with sustainable structures and intelligent battery systems

Press Release Fraunhofer: September 01, 2023

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) does more than just open up new potential in terms of transporting goods: if some of urban traffic goes airborne, this will also offer completely new approaches when it comes to sustainable mobility solutions. In the Fraunhofer ALBACOPTER® Lighthouse Project, six Fraunhofer institutes are addressing the technical and social issues associated with UAM. Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, researchers have developed an aircraft that glides in a particularly efficient way – taking inspiration from the albatross. This device and other high-lights will feature at the joint Fraunhofer booth (D11, in Hall B1) at the IAA MOBILITY trade show in Munich from September 5 to 8, 2023.

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Maintenance and servicing of aircraft with augmented reality

Press Release Fraunhofer FKIE: July 03, 2023

Maintenance of modern aircraft is a complex process. The use of AR smart glasses with 3D information visualization should make repair and maintenance work easier for aircraft mechanics. Virtual elements such as instructions, displays and technical tools can be operated by way of gesture, voice and gaze control. With the help of augmented reality systems, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE have developed concepts and solutions for maintaining the Airbus A400M.

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Lightweight construction, automation and robotics from Stade for sustainable & efficient aircraft production at SIAE 2023

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: June 20, 2023

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Stade, Germany, will present automation solutions for sustainable aircraft production at the International Aerospace Exhibition SIAE ("Paris Air Show") in Paris-Le Bourget from June 19 to 25, 2023, at the Fraunhofer AVIATION & SPACE booth on the joint booth of the German Aerospace Industries Association, BDLI (Hall 2C l Stand D357).

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Monitoring of critical infrastructure from space: Fraunhofer FHR is working on the IIMEO project

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: May 11, 2023

The Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR is participating in the "Instantaneous Infrastructure Monitoring by Earth Observation" (IIMEO) project. The project is funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe program as an Innovation Action with 2.8 million euros and aims to develop and demonstrate key technologies for global monitoring of critical infrastructure from space in near real-time. The pilot application is the monitoring of rail networks. The project runs until November 30, 2025.

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JEC WORLD – Sustainable and efficient production through automation and robotics from Fraunhofer IFAM in Stade, Germany

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: April 24, 2023

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Stade, Germany, will be presenting automation solutions for sustainable production at the Leading International Composites Show JEC WORLD 2023 from April 25 to 27 in Paris at the joint booth of Composites United e.V. (Hall 6 l Booth Q 28 l Position 16).

  • Lightweight robotics modular system
  • Assembly technologies for a lighter Clean Sky 2 aircraft fuselage of the future made of thermoplastic fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP)
  • Automated pre-assembly of CFRP integral frames
  • Automated rudder hinge assembly in aircraft vertical tail planes
  • Efficiency-enhancing flow-line manufacturing for large CFRP components

R&D services focus on machining and assembly of large lightweight structures made of various materials for the aviation and aerospace, wind turbine, commercial vehicle, rail vehicle, and agricultural sectors. Automated or semi-automated manufacturing solutions up to industrial scale are developed.

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Space mission JUICE launches into space with telescope from Jena to explore Jupiter and its moons

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: April 05, 2023

On April 13, the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its JUICE mission to explore Jupiter and its moons. On board of the spacecraft will be the GALA measuring instrument. It will use laser pulses to measure the surface of the Earth-like moon Ganymede. The instrument was developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena together with the company HENSOLDT Optronics. GALA will be the first "deep space laser altimeter" to be used at a distance of approximately one billion kilometers from Earth.

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Making Europe fit for quantum communication via satellite

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: March 09, 2023

The European Union is providing 4.3 million euros in funding for a new project to research high-security quantum communication via satellites. In the QUDICE project, an international team of researchers, including members of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, aims to develop components for space-based distribution of quantum keys. The new hardware is expected to become one day the basis of a European satellite network. At Fraunhofer IOF, a miniaturized source for generating entangled light particles in the telecommunications wavelength range will be built specifically for this purpose. The project has recently started its three-year term.

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New lasers for climate research

Photo Report Fraunhofer ILT: February 28, 2023

Weather reports, climate models or rocket launches – they all need precise data from the atmosphere. To acquire such data, scientists can use LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) systems to shoot laser beams into the sky. The backscattered light can be used to calculate wind and temperature data at altitudes of up to 100 km. A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics IAP has developed a portable LIDAR system that works autonomously. In the future, such systems could be mass-produced and combined into networks to provide high quality climate data.

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Cognitive Network of HF-Radars: A Revolutionary Enhancement of European Defence

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: February 24, 2023

The threat spectrum faced by the European Union is broadening and demands a new and robust capability to complement existing assets and address increasingly complex challenges. The EU-funded project iFURTHER will focus on a disruptive system of systems defence concept that is fit for this purpose and thus is capable of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the European Union.

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Development of a pilot plant for the production of sustainable synthetic aviation fuels based on methanol

Press Release Fraunhofer ISE: February 28, 2023

The harmful effects of air traffic on the climate will have to be greatly reduced in the future – this applies both to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from jet fuel and to the so-called non-CO2 effects, such as the climate impact of the condensation trails caused by an aircraft. A consortium of research institutes and industrial partners, under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, is therefore re-searching the development of an innovative process: A sustainable synthetic liquid fuel (Sustainable Aviation Fuel, SAF) is to completely replace fossil jet fuel in the future. Innovations in the synthesis process should lead to an increase of the energy efficiency of this SAF production route. Partners along the entire value chain have joined forces with Fraunhofer ISE for the SAFari project: “Sustainable Aviation Fuels based on Ad-vanced Reaction and Process Intensification”.

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Securing energy and raw material sovereignty through regional circular technologies

Press Release Fraunhofer IKTS: February 15, 2023

Minister President Kretschmer visited the Thallwitz pilot plant today to find out in person about the Saxon initiative to develop regional CO2 sources for a resilient chemical and fuel industry.

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HENSOLDT and Fraunhofer work together on space surveillance radar

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: February 02, 2023

Sensor specialist HENSOLDT has agreed to cooperate with the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Technology FHR with the aim of transforming the technology demonstrator GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar) into a series-production ready, operationally deployable system called Custodian. To this end, HENSOLDT has acquired the necessary licenses from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and concluded a cooperation agreement.

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Safer urban skies: Controlling drone aviation above German cities

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: January 31, 2023

Commercial aviation uses radar technology in their air traffic control systems to guarantee safe and smooth flights everywhere. For the AKIRA project, Fraunhofer researchers have teamed up with industry partners to develop a novel ground-based radar platform to take the same monitoring capabilities to the world of unmanned aviation. Their vision is one of secure passenger and cargo flights with automated drones in the skies above Germany’s urban centers. Starting on 28 February, a special two-day workshop on »Drone Technology for Logistics Applications« will be hosted by four Fraunhofer Institutes in Wachtberg.

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More power for laser communication in space

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: January 30, 2023

They fly high above our heads and are indispensable for our globally networked world: satellites. For a long time, they used radio waves to exchange data with each other and with ground stations. But in a highly networked world with a rapidly growing volume of data, these have long been insufficient to cope with the volume of data. The solution: light. Light enables data to be transmitted much faster - and, especially with entangled light particles known as quanta, much more securely. At SPIE Photonics West from January 31 to February 2, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF will be presenting several innovations for laser- and quantum-based communication together with its project partners from quantum communication and space research.

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New optical coating system prevents fogging and unwanted reflections

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: January 23, 2023

Optics that do not fog up and almost do not reflect - this will be possible in the future due to a new optical coating system developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF. The technology is expected to help improve the performance of lidar systems and cameras in, for example, autonomous driving cars. The research team has now presented the new process in a paper published in the journal "Applied Optics".

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Shape Change at the Push of a Button

Press Release Fraunhofer ITWM: January 02, 2023

Programmable materials are true shape-shifters. At the push of a button, they change their properties in a controlled and reversible manner and adapt independently to new conditions. Areas of application include comfortable seating or mattresses that prevent bedsores. In this case, the carpet pad deforms in such a way that the contact surface is large and the pressure on the body parts is reduced as a result. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials CPM are developing such programmable materials and bringing them to market together with industrial partners. One of the aims is to reduce the use of resources.

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Ultrasound Makes 3D Printed Parts Stronger and More Durable

Press Release Fraunhofer IWS: November 11, 2022

In the near future, ultrasound will enable industrial 3D printers to manufacture more robust, durable and cheaper components for aerospace, toolmaking and other industries than ever before. Researchers from Dresden, Hamburg and Melbourne, Australia, have joined forces in a research alliance to bring this new technology to market within three years. Their “UltraGrain” project, launched in June 2022, aims to produce a tailored fine-grained microstructure (“grading”) in wire- and powder-based additive manufacturing technologies which promises to improve the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of the majority of engineering alloys.

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Fraunhofer IPT reduces part distortion during milling

Press Release Fraunhofer IPT: October 24, 2022

Part distortion is a major cost factor in the production of metallic parts, especially in the case of large and thin-walled workpieces that play an important role in lightweight design or in aerospace. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, together with partners, has now successfully developed a system for reducing part distortion caused by residual stresses: With model-based process design and a new type of clamping system, companies will be able to significantly reduce part distortion during milling in the future.

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HYPERSPACE research project aims to create basis for intercontinental quantum network

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: October 17, 2022

Researchers from Europe and Canada want to jointly create the basis for an intercontinental network for quantum communication. The HYPERSPACE project will focus on the investigation of the distribution of entangled photons via satellite. The research project has now started its three-year term.

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Successful measurements: Space surveillance radar GESTRA reliably detects space objects

Press Release Fraunhofer FHR: September 07, 2022

The space surveillance radar GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar) developed by Fraunhofer FHR on behalf of the German Space Agency at DLR is delivering promising results. As part of a series of mea-surements, several experiments were conducted with the system operated by the German Armed Forces Space Situational Awareness Center (WRLageZ) at the GESTRA site on Schmidtenhöhe in Koblenz.

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Project explores early detection of motion sickness in prospective German Armed Forces pilots

Press Release Fraunhofer FKIE: September 02, 2022

Pilot training is a complex and cost-intensive task for the German Armed Forces. It is therefore an important goal to reduce costs and delays whenever possible. Especially during training, some pilot candidates suffer from symptoms of motion induced illness also known as motion sickness or kinetosis. Affected candidates then usually have to interrupt training in order to undergo desensitization training, causing significant costs and delays. To prevent such cases in the future, the German Armed Forces have launched a research project led by Fraunhofer FKIE and in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Universität der Bundeswehr München. The goal of the “Early Detection of Kinetosis Risk” (KiRis) project is to develop an AI and simulator-based method for the early detection of the motion sickness tendency of pilot candidates.

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Bronze for "Ferrotherm"

Press Release Fraunhofer IST: July 06, 2022

At the INNOspace Masters conference on July 5th, 2022, Dr. Andreas Dietz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST was delighted to reach 3rd place in the INNOspace Masters innovation competition. The “Ferrotherm” project, on which Dr. Dietz is working together with researchers from the Fraunhofer ICT, was awarded a prize as part of the DLR Challenge 2021/2022. The aim is to develop carbon-free energy generation through iron combustion and electrochemical recycling that can also be used on the moon.

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ILA 2022 – Sustainable and efficient aircraft construction through automation and robotics from Fraunhofer IFAM in Stade

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: June 22, 2022

From efficiency-enhancing flow-line manufacturing for large CFRP components over automated rudder fork assembly in aircraft vertical tails and automated pre-assembly of thermoplastic CFRP integral frames to assembly technologies for a promising lighter Clean Sky 2 aircraft fuselage of the future made of thermoplastic fiber-reinforced composites (FRP).

ILA 2022 l Hall 4 l Booth 350 - The Automation and Production Technology experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Stade will be presenting automation solutions for sustainable aircraft construction at the Fraunhofer AVIATION & SPACE booth at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Berlin from June 22 to 26, 2022.

New, weight-saving materials and manufacturing processes not only increase efficiency and reduce costs, but in particular represent milestones on the way to climate-friendly flying: in a typical passenger aircraft, each kilogram saved reduces kerosene consumption by up to 120 kg per year. The scientists provide insights into current application-oriented research and development work, which they are carrying out on a 1:1 scale at the Research Center CFK NORD in Stade, Germany.

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Everything in flow – Efficiency-enhancing flow-line production of large CFRP components

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: June 20, 2022

Automation solutions for aircraft construction: Pioneering mobile holding fixture for flexible clamping, alignment, and transport of components reduces the workload of production processes considerably

As part of the "UniFix" joint project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), experts in Automation and Production Technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Stade, together with cooperation partners and Airbus Operations GmbH (Stade) as an associated project partner, have developed a unique mobile holding fixture. This fixture is able to flexibly accommodate various large components, such as aircraft tail planes and landing flaps, in a wide variety of types up to eight meters in length, and to align and transport them accurately and sustainably in terms of shape. 

Focused on machining processes in the production sequence, this holding fixture is able to considerably relieve a machining system of time-consuming, non-value-adding secondary activities by passing through various process stations in advance with the optimally and precisely aligned large components, at which preparatory work can be carried out in parallel and simultaneously.

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Generating energy with lunar rock

Press Release Fraunhofer IST: June 17, 2022

Living on the Moon? This may perhaps sound somewhat unrealistic today, but the urbanization of the Moon is one of the future topics in space travel. Limited resources on the Moon, the lack of fossil fuels, and extreme conditions such as very high and very low temperatures and a different day/night rhythm necessitate new ideas for energy supply and for the production of the required components and parts. The Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST is developing new concepts in order to secure the energy supply by means of lunar resources. At the ILA in Berlin from 22 to 26 June 2022, visitors can obtain an overview of current projects and ideas.

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SUCOM drone communication system operates in Malawi

Press Release Fraunhofer HHI: May 31, 2022

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) and drone manufacturer Wingcopter have successfully deployed the SUCOM drone communication system on the African continent for the first time, specifically in Malawi. The mobile radio-based system enables safe control of drones, even despite being out of sight of the person controlling them.

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Environmental mission EnMAP: Fraunhofer IOF contributed mirrors for the first German hyperspectral satellite

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: May 05, 2022

Recently, the first hyperspectral satellite developed and built in Germany was launched into space. Its name: EnMAP. In the future, it will analyze Earth’s environment from space, making visible not only the consequences of climate change but also potential natural hazards. A total of eleven mirrors and various optical layers for telescope and spectrometer optics were manufactured for this mission at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena. One month after the launch, the first images from space are now available.

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On behalf of research: Unmanned aerial vehicle records meteorological measurement data for offshore wind energy

Press Release Fraunhofer IFAM: May 05, 2022

One pillar for the energy transition is offshore wind energy. When wind farms are erected, they influence the wind currents over the sea. For this purpose, meteorological measurement data were collected to investigate changes as well as effects of further wind farm expansion. An application example where the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle provides valuable insights. What sounds simple involves a great deal of expertise, as each flight requires extensive approval procedures to ensure a high level of safety. With the Test Center for Maritime Technologies on Heligoland and vast flight experience, Fraunhofer IFAM closes this service gap for research and industry.

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POWDERscreen monitors streams of powder into the laser melt

Press Release Fraunhofer IWS: April 14, 2022

Additive manufacturing processes continue to grow in the automotive, aerospace and other industries. When complex components or unique parts need to be produced, an increasing number of companies are turning to industrial 3D printing. However, the run-in curves can still be quite long, especially for small batches, and the reject rates may be high at the beginning. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden therefore develops modern measurement and control technology that allow additive processes to be used much more effectively than before, for example for highly automated production lines. This includes the POWDERscreen – a unique powder measuring device for laser cladding. Fraunhofer IWS will demonstrate this innovative system in May 2022 during the “3. Fachtagung Werkstoffe und Additive Fertigung“ at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden.

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Fraunhofer reduces CO2 footprint and recycles trendy lightweight carbon material

Press Release Fraunhofer IGCV: April 11, 2022

To reduce the CO2 footprint, the Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV Augsburg research with a state-of-the-art wetlaid nonwoven machine for recycling carbon fibers. The production processes are similar to those of a paper manufacturing machine. The crucial difference: we turn not paper fibers into the paper but recycled carbon fibers into nonwoven roll fabrics. The carbon fiber thus gets a second life and finds an environmentally friendly way in nonwovens, such as door panels, engine bonnets, roof structures, underbody protection (automotive), and heat shields (helicopter tail boom), as well as in aircraft interiors.

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Application of fiber-reinforced composite material in serial chassis parts

Press Release Fraunhofer ICT: March 21, 2022

Gestamp, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT and its project partners are facing the scientific challenge to implement mass production of green fiber chassis parts. The broad Eco Dynamic SMC consortium brings together expertise from the aerospace, automotive and scientific industries.

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Lotus effects by laser

Press Release Fraunhofer IWS: February 01, 2022

Nano- and microstructures can now be incorporated into surfaces in an instant using lasers. The technology is being developed and marketed by the Dresden-based start-up Fusion Bionic, a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS. The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to laser structuring. It has the advantage of being fast and much more versatile than coatings.

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James Webb Space Telescope launches with optics from Jena on board into space

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: December 15, 2021

It is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever launched into space: the James Webb Space Telescope. On December 22, it will begin its journey to the stars. The telescope is expected to provide groundbreaking insights into scientific remote sensing and the early history of the universe - and perhaps even discover life in space. On board: high-precision mirrors manufactured at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena, Germany.

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Project UN:IO: Fraunhofer Institutes INT and IAF support preparations for a sovereign European satellite network

Press Release: December 13, 2021

The Fraunhofer Institutes INT and IAF and the Fraunhofer Lead Market Aerospace Economics, together with an international consortium of medium-sized space companies and start-ups, have won the 1.4 million euro tender for the preparatory study of an independent European satellite network. With this network, the European Commission (EC) plans to ensure the data and technology sovereignty of the European Union in the future. Under the project title UN:IO, the selected study envisions a new type of satellite constellation with high-performance communications technology in various orbits whose satellites return to Earth after their operating lives, thus avoiding space debris.

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High-performance metal optics awarded Lothar Späth Award

Press Release Fraunhofer IOF: November 25, 2021

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, together with their partner, have been awarded the Lothar Späth Award for the development of metal-optical precision instruments. The high-performance telescope GALA is to be used in the ESA JUICE mission planned for 2023 to explore Jupiter's moon Ganymede. The award ceremony took place on November 19 in Stuttgart, Germany.

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New mirror telescope for Earth observation ready for flight to the International Space Station ISS

Press Release Fraunhofer EMI: November 09, 2021

Researchers from Jena and Freiburg have jointly developed a new type of mirror telescope for use on the International Space Station ISS. The findings that the measuring instrument will provide there in the future should, among other things, provide answers to climate change and facilitate the efficient use of water in agriculture. The instrument will begin its journey into space in February 2022. The development of the telescope was funded by the “Digital Innovation Hub Photonics,” a Thuringian initiative to promote start-up projects in the fields of optics and photonics.

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Satellites measure drought stress in plants

Press Release Fraunhofer EMI: September 01, 2021

With a satellite system that measures drought stress in plants, two researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI, have now founded the spin-off ConstellR. Their technology enables the agricultural sector to optimize the irrigation of areas under cultivation to increase crop yields. The first sensor system will be launched into space in early 2022 and be installed on board the International Space Station (ISS).

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Fraunhofer IIS successfully tests terrestrial IoT technology mioty® via GEO satellite

Press Release Fraunhofer IIS: July 22, 2021

mioty® communication technology enables the simultaneous transmission of data packets from a large number of sensor nodes over long distances and is particularly energy efficient. Previously, providing the Internet of Things (IoT) in a terrestrial network was limited to a range of up to 15 kilometers. Now, transmission tests by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany, have shown that mioty® can be used via geostationary (GEO) satellites – without having to adapt the wireless protocol. Deploying the IoT via satellite allows the range of a network to be extended at will, up to and including around the globe.

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High-speed helicopter RACER: Fraunhofer IGCV develops sustainable production method for CFRP side shells

Press Release Fraunhofer IGCV: July 02, 2021

Up to 400 kilometers per hour fast and still light and fuel-efficient? That is possible – with the sustainably produced high-speed helicopter RACER. Together with Airbus Helicopters, Fraunhofer IGCV developed an innovative, highly automated manufacturing process for the CFRP shell components of its outer skin.

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Technology from the Braunschweig Fraunhofer Institute lands on Mars

Press Release Fraunhofer IST: March 04, 2021

In the new Mars Rover “Perseverance”, an optical interference filter from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films, in short Fraunhofer IST, has been installed. It assists NASA's Rover in the investigation of the dust in the planet's atmosphere – and it does so under the most extreme conditions.

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Satellites from the 3D printer – A vision becomes reality

Press Release Fraunhofer EMI: April 24, 2018

Through the use of additive manufacturing techniques – better known as 3D printing – completely new design possibilities arise in the development of satellite components. Within the development of the nanosatellite ERNST, scientists at Fraunhofer EMI have designed and manufactured an optical bench by using a 3D printing process for metals. The optical bench serves as a mounting for different components such as an infrared camera and lens systems. The design of the optical bench was created by using intelligent optimization algorithms. By specifying the loading scenarios, the algorithm is able to calculate an optimized bionic-looking structure.

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