The interdisciplinary business area “Space Technologies” represents a class of its own, which distinguishes itself from aeronautical and ground transport applications. The space research at the institute is strongly shaped by ESA´s and DLR ´s research missions.

herefore, a large portion of our work focuses on spacecraft and landers for the exploration of the Solar System. Notable examples are “Philae“, which landed on comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko and the space probe “MASCOT” about to land on the asteroid Ryugu. Tailored design concepts and new production processes are routinely developed to yield the structures required for satellites and interplanetary missions.

The second major field of work is the development of ultralight deployable structures such as very large solar generators, solar sails, and large deployable antennas. In fact, the institute is a worldwide leader in the design of unique and innovative deployable structures. In the field of space transport, the institute is conducting research on a number of levels from hybrid connections to high-performance load-bearing structures for new vehicles.

In the future, the space structures will be intelligent with qualities such as “sensitive”, “reactive“ and “healing”. The ultimate goal is a set of structures that are aware of their state and react autonomously to external influences..