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German Aerospace Center

Moving into the future

What useful information can satellites give us for monitoring the environment and disaster management? What can we discover about the origins and development of the universe? How can we generate power in a way that is both efficient and environmentally friendly? What concepts and technologies can we use to make land, sea and air travel compatible with the environment? These are just some of the questions that scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne are trying to answer. DLR pools federal and state funding and resources for research and development in the fields of air and space travel, transport and selected energy sectors. As Germany’s national space agency, DLR is responsible for realizing the German government’s space agenda.

Research and development at DLR focuses on crucial technologies for the 21st century. Its role encompassing everything from defining suitable sensors to data reception and use, the DLR space research programme contributes significantly to the ongoing development of European satellite launcher systems and itself conducts earth observation of the Earth using satellites. Other important challenges for the future include the development of quieter, low-emission aircraft that still offer high performance and of new propulsion and combustion technologies, and maximizing the use and efficiency of solar energy. The center is at the vanguard of R&D work in new key technologies such as adaptronics, mechatronics and intelligent materials, and advances the use of simulation processes and the further development of software and data management.

With state-of-the-art testing facilities and research aircraft at its disposal, DLR is able to act as a driving force in joint European efforts to tackle these challenges.

Technological basis for economic competitiveness

DLR is helping to build and maintain a technological basis that will keep Germany competitive at an international level. It works in close cooperation with industry, allowing the results of its research to be transferred into practical applications quickly; its partnerships with innovative medium-sized businesses are particularly important.

DLR has 8,000 employees in 16 locations, including Cologne (head office), Berlin, Bremen, Braunschweig, Göttingen, Lampoldshausen, Oberpfaffenhofen and Stuttgart. DLR is involved in several international testing sites and has liaison offices in Brussels, Paris and Washington.

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

DLR in figures


employees (2020)


PhD students in 2020


visiting scientists from 96 countries in 2020


  • Aeronautics, Space and Transport

    In order to make future commercial aircraft even more efficient, a research project that has so far been carried out in Germany is testing aerodynamic limits. But the phenomena are so complex that…

  • Aeronautics, Space and Transport

    The European Space Agency ESA is sending the largest mission of the decade on its way. The JUICE space probe will search for indications of life on Jupiter's icy moons. That is conceivable, but it is…

  • Aeronautics, Space and Transport, Earth & Environment

    Autonomous research robots play a crucial role in deep-sea research as well as in the exploration of distant planets. Helmholtz researchers from both fields have joined forces and together are…

  • Aeronautics, Space and Transport

    In an interview, ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer explains why the moon is so interesting for science, and what his chances are of being on board the next manned flight to Earth's satellite.

  • Information

    In our networked world, digital infrastructures matter. They are becoming a basic requirement of daily life. As the central lifeblood of our society, the internet and telecommunications are…

  • The spin-off project of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) ExoMatter has found a way to facilitate the search for suitable and sustainable materials for companies in almost all industries. Josua…


Deutsches Zentrum für Luft - und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Linder Höhe[Porz-Wahnheide]
51147 Köln Postal address:
51170 Köln

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