Press Releases 2020

Fraunhofer IFAM

Launch of offshore technology test facility under real environmental conditions - combining approval of underwater and uncrewed aircraft systems

June 01, 2020

© Fraunhofer IFAM/Deichblick
© Fraunhofer IFAM/ Tim Strohbach
© Fraunhofer IFAM/Deichblick

Scientist of the Test Center for Maritime Technologies started operation in a unique three million square meter offshore test area in the German North Sea near the offshore island Helgoland. It offers widespread test applications for marine materials and technologies, not only under water but also for aerial applications (e.g. AUVs & UAVs for inspection and maintenance work). Testing is possible under harsh offshore conditions (sea spray, wind, currents) within different temperate ranges for long time series or short-term tests. Due to the proximity of only three nautical miles to Helgoland short reaction times and a cost-efficient logistic infrastructure can be realized.

Dr. Hanno Schnars, Director of the Test Center for Maritime Technologies: “The location with up to 45 meters depth is ideal for such tests, as the conditions close to the island of Helgoland are representative for the North Sea and similar oceans, like the Atlantic Ocean. The harsh environmental conditions mean a high load for materials and technologies and testing the systems under these environmental conditions is, so to say, the ‘baptism of fire’ for them. If they can cope with these harsh conditions, they succeed everywhere else.”

For industrial partners a range of services can be offered by the Test Center for Maritime Technologies, e.g. planning, engineering, logistics, and performance assessments. Expertise in the marine sector is guaranteed by an interdisciplinary research consortium under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM together with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht – Centre for Materials and Coastal Research (HZG), the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg and Jacobs University Bremen. In addition, the consortium receives scientific support from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).

For further information, please visit the website

Fraunhofer IPT

Augmented reality system facilitates manual manufacturing of products made of fiber-reinforced composite materials

March 03, 2020

© Fraunhofer IPT

The manufacturing of products made of fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) often still involves a number of manual work steps: the position and orientation of the semi-finished fiber-reinforced materials must be aligned precisely by hand to ensure that the product has the required levels of stability and flexibility after lamination and curing. Ultimately, this is the only way of enabling the user to fully exploit the advantages of the FRP material. To support the manual deposition process, known as preforming, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany, has developed intuitive software for commercially available augmented reality glasses: The system specifies the correct deposition of the semi-finished materials as a virtual representation on the mold and can thus significantly improve the quality and performance of FRP production processes. 

For more information, please visit the IPT website.
Augmented reality system facilitates manual manufacturing of products made of fiber-reinforced composite materials

Fraunhofer IWS

Additively manufactured rocket engine features an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers

February 12, 2020

© Fraunhofer IWS

Microlaunchers are an alternative to conventional launch vehicles. Able to carry payloads of up to 350 kilograms, these midsized transport systems are designed to launch small satellites into space. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden and TU Dresden’s aerospace experts developed an additively manufactured rocket engine with an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers. The scaled metal prototype is expected to consume 30 percent less fuel than conventional engines. It will feature prominently at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 12 and in the showcase at booth C18 in hall 16 at the Hannover Messe from April 20 through 24, 2020.

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Additively manufactured rocket engine features an aerospike nozzle for microlaunchers

Fraunhofer ILT

Cleaning water with laser-drilled filters: SimConDrill project nominated for Green Award

January 23, 2020

© Fraunhofer ILT

Microplastics enter our wastewater and the environment on a daily basis. Yet wastewater treatment plants struggle to filter out enough of these tiny plastic particles. Fortunately, help is on hand in the form of the SimConDrill research project, which the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been funding since 2019. Combining the expertise of five partners from industry and research, the aim of the project is to jointly develop a filter featuring tiny, laser-drilled holes that can remove plastic particles as small as 10 micrometers from wastewater.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
Cleaning water with laser-drilled filters: SimConDrill project nominated for Green Award

Fraunhofer ILT

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

January 15, 2020

© Fraunhofer ILT

Interest in the use of fuel cells is steadily increasing as a result of the shift toward e-mobility and the broader adoption of renewable energy sources. To examine this development, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is organizing the first Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2, which will take place in Aachen on March 18, 2020. The event will focus not only on laser cutting and welding of fuel cell components, but also on the execution and monitoring of the entire process chain.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing