Research Groups

  • Key topic Research Groups Autonomous Flight

      • ROBUST AND EFFICIENT REALTIME FLIGHT PATH OPTIMIZATION

        Starting Date: Juli 2021

        Head of Research Gorup: Prof. Matthias Gerdts (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Mathematics and Applied Computing)
        • TUM (Institute of Flight System Dynamics)

        Abstract:The development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) like multicopters or hybrid flight system configurations is a vastly emerging field with many innovative application fields, e.g., in logistics, urban air mobility, or inspection tasks for buildings. In parallel to the identification of new fields of applications the desire and request for automation of flight functionalities grows and will eventually result in autonomous flight systems. To this end the Munich Aerospace research group aims at the development of methods for the computation of optimal flight trajectories in realtime and their validation in experiments. The capability of computing flight trajectories in realtime is a prerequisite for autonomous flight systems. Herein it is essential to consider disturbances caused by the environment or system malfunctions and to obey safety constraints in a robust trajectory design approach. Remaining degrees of freedom can be exploited to optimize the flight trajectories with regard to energy efficiency, noise reduction, or flight time. On a technical level we will use model-predictive control techniques in combination with sensitivity updates and probabilistic constraints. Moreover, numerically efficient structure exploitation techniques will be developed and applied within the optimization framework.


      • INTELLIGENT CONTROL OF HIGHLY OVER-ACTUATED FLIGHT SYSTEMS

        Starting Date: 2021

        Head of Research Gorup: Dr. Gertjan Looye (DLR)

        Stakeholders:

        • DLR (Institute of System Dynamics and Control)
        • TUM (Institute of Flight System Dynamics)
        • UniBwM (Institute of Flight Systems)

        Abstract:The Munich Aerospace research group “Intelligent Control of Highly Over-Actuated Flight Systems” aims at developing advanced flight guidance and control (G&C) strategies pushing forward fully autonomous flight. The main challenge tackled thereby is an intelligent usage of the increasing number of actuators, which are introduced when implementing promising concepts like distributed electric propulsion or multi-functional movables. In order to allow for a safe aircraft operation even under extreme conditions and severe faults, the developed control strategies need to be capable to automatically detect occurring faults and reconfigure the G&C system accordingly. Besides an intelligent allocation of given actuators, this also involves an optimal adaption of the flight trajectory based on currently available aircraft performance as well as environmental and economic aspects. An additional focus is put on deriving new efficient methods for a systematic validation and verification of such intelligent G&C strategies paving the way for a broad applying in industry.


      • FORMAL VERIFICATION FOR CONTROL OF SAFETY CRITICAL SYSTEMS

        Starting Date: October 2021

        Head of Research Gorup: Prof. Gunther Reißig (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Control Engineering)
        • DLR (Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics)

        Abstract: With recent advances in computational and communication devices and techniques, fully autonomous systems, e.g. autonomous ground vehicles, aircrafts, robots, and so on, are expected to become more and more present in future life due to the many benefits they offer. The main challenge in the development of such systems is on managing their complexity in the design process and implementation as well as during their operation. This Research Group will investigate the complexity issue for autonomous aerial systems. Using techniques for formal verification we will develop tools and approaches that should significantly improve the reliability and safety of autonomous aerial systems, and in turn, these results shall also contribute to the simplification of the certification process of these systems.


      • CERTIFIABLE AUTONOMY IN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES

        Funding Period: October 2014 - September 2020

        Head of Research Gorup: Prof. Gunther Reißig (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Control Engineering)
        • TUM (Assistant Professorship of Hybrid Control Systems)

      • GENERATING OPTIMAL REFERENCE TRAJECTORIES FOR AUTONOMOUS FLIGHT SYSTEMS FACTORING IN CONFIGURATION CHANGES

        Funding Period: October 2011 - April 2016

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Matthias Gerdts (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • TUM (Institute of Flight System Dynamics)
        • UniBwM (Chair for Mathematical Engineering)
        • Bauhaus Luftfahrt (Visionary Aircraft Concepts team)

    • MISSION-RELATED DESIGN, CONTROL AND EQUIPMENT

      Funding Period: January 2012 - June 2017 as part of the Helmholtz Alliance project DLR@Uni

      Head of Research Group: Dr. Konstantin Kondak (DLR)

      Stakeholders:

      • DLR (Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics)
      • TUM (Institute of Flight System Dynamics, Institute of Aircraft Design, Chair of Helicopter Technology)
      • UniBwM (Institute for Flight Systems)
      • Bauhaus Luftfahrt (Visionary Aircraft Concepts team)
  • Key topic Research Groups Safety in Orbit

      • AUTONOMOUS COLLISION AVOIDANCE FOR MULTI-SPACECRAFT SYSTEMS

        Starting Date: November 2021

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Roger Förstner (UniBwM)

        Coordinator: Maren Hülsmann, MSc. (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Space Technology and Space Applications (ISTA))
        • DLR (Institute for Space Operations and Astronaut Training, Space Situational Awareness (SSA))

        Abstract: Collision avoidance is not only immensely important for a single satellite but becomes more complex the more satellites are involved in a mission. Missions in which a large number of satellites fly in formation in close proximity to each other, or so-called mega-constellations with thousands of satellites in multiple orbits, are becoming increasingly popular, so that low-Earth orbits will be more densely occupied and collisions will become unavoidable in the future. The space environment and necessary collision avoidance manoeuvres are monitored and controlled by satellite operations centres on ground. Autonomous formation flight and collision avoidance within a satellite formation as well as with space debris guarantee to ensure the safety and usability of the resource space in the long term. Within the framework of the research group, methods for collision avoidance, formation control and fault management of multi-spacecraft-systems are being developed based on artificial intelligence. All-encompassing autonomy, internal optimal decision-making processes and safety strategies are a core research area for safe, autonomous flight in multi-spacecraft-systems.


      • RE-ENTRY OPTIMISATION TO MINIMISE HEATING OR INFRARED SIGNATURE 

        Funding Period: October 2016 - May 2021

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Christian Mundt (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Chair for Aerothermodynamics, Chair for Mathematical Engineering)
        • TUM (Institute of Flight System Dynamics)
        • DLR (Space Operations and Astronaut Training, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics)

      • SPACE DEBRIS - DETECTION, AVOIDANCE, REMOVAL

        Funding Period: January 2012 - June 2017 as part of the Helmholtz Alliance project DLR@Uni

        Head of Research Group: Dr. Hauke Fiedler (DLR)

        Stakeholders:

        • DLR (Space Operations and Astronaut Training)
        • UniBwM (Institute of Space Technology and Space Applications)

    • REAL-TIME ATTITUDE CONTROL AND ON-ORBIT NAVIGATION LABORATORY

      Funding Period: April 2012 - June 2017

      Head of Research Group: Prof. Ulrich Walter (TUM)

      Stakeholders:

      • DLR (Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics)
      • TUM (Chair of Astronautics)
  • Key topic Research Groups Earth Observation

      • IMONITOR: AI FOR MONITORING CHANGES AND FOOD SUPPLY FROM SPACE

        Start: August 2021

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Xiaoxiang Zhu (TUM)

        Stakeholders:

        • TUM (Professorship for Data Science in Earth Observation)
        • DLR (Remote Sensing Technology Institute)
        • IABG (Innovation Center (IZ60) und Geodata Factory (TAE1))

        Abstract: IMonitor: AI for Monitoring Changes and Food Supply from Space is a new Munich Aerospace research group at the Data Science in Earth Observation of Technical University of Munich, in close collaboration with DLR and IABG. In this new venture, scientists will focus on developing novel machine learning approaches for monitoring landscape changes at regional, national and continental scales using the EU Copernicus satellite missions.

        Earth observation data, combined with a variety of other information sources (e.g., financial trends, ground information, weather and climate patterns), enable monitoring of the Earth almost on a daily basis. To enhance the benefits created by European satellite programs, the AI4EO research group will develop solutions for decision support and detection of changes in land cover and land use. It aims to make important contributions to disaster management and food security.


      • FUSION OF REMOTE SENSING AND SOCIAL MEDIA DATA

        Funding Period: August 2018 - October 2020

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Xiaoxiang Zhu (DLR)

        Stakeholders:

        • TUM (Chair of Remote Sensing Technology, Signal Processing in Earth Observation)
        • DLR (Remote Sensing Technology Institute)

      • IMMERSIVE VISUAL INFORMATION MINING FOR THE TERRASAR-X/TANDEM-X ARCHIVE

        Funding Period: October 2011 - April 2017

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Mihai Datcu (DLR)

        Stakeholders:

        • DLR (Remote Sensing Technology Institute)
        • TUM (Chair of Human-Machine Communication)

      • SPARSEO - SPARSE RECONSTRUCTION AND COMPRESSIVE SENSING FOR REMOTE SENSING AND EARTH OBSERVATION

        Funding Period: October 2011 - February 2016

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Xiaoxiang Zhu (DLR)

        Stakeholders:

        • DLR (Remote Sensing Technology Institute)
        • TUM (Chair of Remote Sensing Technology, Chair for Applied and Numerical Analysis and Institute for Computational Mechanics)

    • HIGH-RESOLUTION GEODETIC EARTH OBSERVATION: CORRECTION METHODS AND VALIDATION

      Funding Period: January 2012 - June 2016 as part of the Helmholtz Alliance project DLR@Uni

      Head of Research Group: Prof. Michael Eineder (DLR)

      Stakeholders:

      • DLR (Remote Sensing Technology Institute)
      • TUM (Chair for Remote Sensing Technology and Institute of Astronomical and Physical Geodesy)
  • Key topic Research Groups Aerospace Communications and Navigation

      • GNSS RECEIVER ALGORITHMS FOR ADVANCED GALILEO SERVICES

        Starting Date: 2021

        Head of Research Group: Dr. Stefan Baumann (IABG)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Space Technology and Applications)
        • TUM (Institute of Astronomical and Physical Geodesy)
        • IABG (Department InfoCom)

        Abstract: Two new services are currently being implemented for the Galileo satellite navigation system. The High Accuracy Service (HAS) will provide decimeter-accuracy and the Open Service Navigation Message Authentication Service (OS-NMA) will enable the verification of the calculated position in certain time intervals. Both services follow general principles, e.g. Precise Point Positioning (PPP) and standard cryptographic methods, but are highly complex in their specific implementation. Especially the combination of both services is very interesting for many safety related applications like autonomous driving/flying, various railway applications, precise farming, etc. A deep understanding of the technologies mentioned, but also of the application-specific requirements and relevant regulations are important prerequisites for a successful exploitation of the Galileo HAS and OS-NMA in the future. For each Galileo service a PhD position will be granted and the two activities will be closely coordinated in order to exploit the synergies of HAS and OS-NMA.


      • MACHINE LEARNING FOR NETWORK MANAGEMENT AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN FUTURE SATELLITE SYSTEMS (NEMARA-AI)

        Starting Date: 2021

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Andreas Knopp (UniBwM)

        Coordinator: Dr.-Ing. Thomas Delamotte (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Chair of Signal Processing)
        • DLR (Institute of Communications and Navigation)

        Abstract: Satellite systems are essential to guarantee global connectivity in 5G & Beyond. Services ranging from IoT applications to broadband internet access will indeed be provided by a multi-layered space network including flexible digital payloads in various orbits (e.g. LEO, GEO). To satisfy changing traffic demands, such a network will be highly interoperable and reconfigurable. In this context, automated decision-making solutions will be of paramount importance to ensure an efficient management of the system resources. However, standard optimization schemes are generally not suitable for solving such high-dimensional problems. In view of these challenges, the research works conducted in the group aim at developing and analyzing innovative machine learning approaches for the supervision of complex satellite systems. Adaptive network management and routing techniques are proposed to minimize the average transmission delay and limit packet losses. On the other hand, dynamic radio resource management strategies are investigated to maximize capacity by optimizing the use of physical layer resources such as time, power and bandwidth.


      • ON-BOARD DIGITAL PREDISTORTION FOR NEXT-GENERATION HIGH THROUGHPUT SATELLITES

        Funding Period: December 2018 - December 2020

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Andreas Knopp (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Information Technology, Chair of Signal Processing)
        • DLR (Institute of Communications and Navigation, Satellite Networks Department)

      • EFFICIENT CODING AND MODULATION FOR SATELLITE LINKS WITH SEVERE DELAY CONSTRAINTS

        Funding Period: February 2017 - August 2020

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Gerhard Kramer (TUM)

        Stakeholders:

        • DLR (Institute of Communications and Navigation, Satellite Networks Department)
        • TUM (Chair of Communications Engineering)

        International partners:

        • Aalborg University (Department of Electronic Systems)
        • Chalmers University (Institute of Communications Engineering)
        • Duke University (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
        • Huawei Technologies France, Paris
        • Lund University (Institute of Communications Engineering) 
        • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science) 
        • Stanford University (Tse Lab)
        • University of Bologna (Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering "Guglielmo Marconi" (DEI))

      • INTERFERENCE ALIGNMENT IN SATELLITE NETWORKS

        Funding Period: October 2011 - October 2016

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Berthold Lankl (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • DLR (Institute of Communications and Navigation)
        • UniBwM (Institute of Information Technology)

    • OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS, NETWORK CODIFICATION, SAMPLE-BASED TRANSPONDERS AND RETRO-REFLECTIVE ANTENNAE

      Funding Period: January 2012 - December 2016 as part of the Helmholtz Alliance project DLR@Uni

      Head of Research Group: Dr. Sandro Scalise (DLR)

      Stakeholders:

      • DLR (Institute of Communications and Navigation)
      • TUM (Chair of Communications Engineering and Chair of Circuit Theory and Signal Processing)
      • UniBwM (Institute of Information Technology)
  • Key topic Research Groups Aviation Management

    • DATA-DRIVEN AVIATION MANAGEMENT (FORMERY ECO-EFFICIENT AIRPORT - FRAMEWORK AND DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES FOR ECOLOGICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE AIR TRAFFIC)

      Starting Date: April 2012

      Head of Research Group: Dr. Maximilian Moll (UniBwM) (since 1 July 2019)

      Stakeholders:

      • UniBwM (Chair for Operations Research)
      • TUM (Institute of Aircraft Design)
      • Bauhaus Luftfahrt (Economics and Transportation team)

      Abstract: Realising the importance of inter-modal travelling in the future, the research group data-driven aviation management set out to generate data-driven projections from present settings into future solutions. At its core, the group aims to explain how external variables influence passenger arrival behaviour at the airport, one of the key nodes in intermodal travelling.

      A cooperation with the Munich Airport, born out of the mutual interest in such topics, granted the research group access to real data and insights on some key performance metrics. Due to the changes in traveling behaviour caused by COVID19, however, further data collection proved futile. Under the assumption that current behaviour is not representative of typical future travelling, the research group is now aiming to fuse relevant past data from social media, weather stations and traffic counts together with that provided by the airport. The key challenge now being the access to rich historical data, archetype of pre-COVID19 travel.

  • Key topic Research Groups Green Aerospace

      • SMALL AERO ENGINES – PERFORMANCE AND EMISSIONS USING DROP-IN FUELS

        Starting Date: August 2021

        Head of Research Group: Dr. Christian Helcig (TUM)

        Stakeholders:

        • TUM (Chair of Turbomachinery and Flight Propulsion)
        • UniBwM (Institute of Aeronautical Engineering)

        Abstract:The European Vision "Flightpath 2050" is looking for technologies and procedures available to allow a 75% reduction in CO2 and a 90% reduction in NOx emissions per passenger kilometre compared to a typical aircraft in 2020. Sustainably produced substitute fuels, which can be mixed with established fuels, contribute to that vision. Also, the high requirements for reliability and safety need to be met. The research group investigates drop-in biofuels using experimental analysis of the combustion characteristics (UniBwM) and their mode of operation on a helicopter engine (TUM). The effects of the modified fuels on stationary and non-stationary engine operation will be examined. The main focus is on the fuel-specific influence on the entire aircraft propulsion system's functionality, starting with the fuel system's functionality, to the atomization and combustion behaviour within the combustion chamber. Emissions will be analyzed and evaluated.


      • HYBRID LIGHTWEIGHT STRUCTURES BY ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

        Starting Date: 2021

        Head of Research Group: Prof. Eric Jägle (UniBwM)

        Stakeholders:

        • UniBwM (Institute of Materials Science)
        • TUM (Institute of Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing)

        Abstract: Additively manufactured metallic components are being used more and more in the aerospace industry, where lightweight construction and efficient use of resources are of central importance. Additive manufacturing, as a fully digital production technology, offers tremendous opportunities for resource efficiency both in the manufacturing and the use phase of parts. In this research group, we will exploit the potential of additive manufacturing and will extend it to the manufacturing of hybrid parts with conventionally and additively produced portions. This approach requires research in the areas of joining of hybrid parts (semi-finished, conventional parts with filigree, additively produced parts) as well as in the joining of dissimilar alloys (conventional wrought alloys with AM-specific alloys). In the group, these research questions are tackled in a team consisting of scientists from the Technical University Munich and the University of the Bundeswehr Munich. We will work on aluminium alloys and produce parts in various sizes from mm to m. The additive technologies in use will be directed energy deposition (DED) as well as laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). Both processes allow the production of geometrically-hybrid parts and of multi-material parts.


    • PROPULSION TECHNOLOGIES FOR GREEN IN-ORBIT SPACECRAFT

      Funding Period: April 2012 - October 2019

      Head of Research Group: Prof. Oskar Haidn (TUM)

      Stakeholders:

      • TUM (Chair for Turbomachinery and Flight Propulsion / Research Area Space Propulsion, Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management)
      • UniBwM (Institute for Thermodynamics)
  • Key topic Research Groups Urban Air Mobility

    • MODELLING, SIMULATION, OPTIMISATION AND CONCEPTS OF URBAN AIR MOBILITY TRANSPORT SYSTEMS

      Starting Date: November 2018

      Head of Research Group: Dr. Kay Plötner (BHL)

      Stakeholders:

      • TUM (Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering)
      • Bauhaus Luftfahrt (Economics and Transportation team, Visionary Aircraft Concepts team)

      Abstract: How Urban Air Mobility (UAM) as an integral part of future passenger transport in urban as well as regional contexts can add social benefits is the focus of the research group. To achieve this goal, the group focuses its work on four research areas: 1) the development and expansion of modelling capabilities for UAM transport systems, 2) the identification of promising use and application cases and the understanding of future demand drivers, 3) the simulation and conceptual studies of UAM transport systems. These studies include conceptual investigations of vertiport locations, their topologies with the associated passenger and vehicle processes, as well as the efficient integration into the ground transport system. In addition, the research group investigates scientifically future market potentials, identifies promising business models and envisages possible market structures. As a fourth research field, the research group evaluates the impact of UAM on an economic, ecological and social level, also in comparison to other, new mobility solutions, and discusses the results with academia, industry, politics and society.

  • Key topic Research Groups Cyber & Public Security

    • MULTIACCESS AND SECURITY CODING FOR MASSIVE IOT SATELLITE SYSTEMS

      Starting Date: July 2021

      Head of Research Group: Prof. Gerhard Kramer (TUM)

      Coordinator: Dr. Gianluigi Liva (DLR)

      Stakeholders:

      • TUM (Institute for Communications Engineering, ECE Department)
      • DLR (Satellite Networks Department)

      Abstract: The research group “Multiaccess and Security Coding for Massive IoT Satellite Systems” is led by Prof. Gerhard Kramer from the Institute for Communications Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and involves the COD group of Prof. Antonia Wachter-Zeh at TUM and the ITX group at the Institute of Communications and Navigation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The research aims at developing new key technologies for next generation satellite networks for the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Building on an existing research line within Munich Aerospace (where the group devised new advanced techniques for coding and modulation for short packet transmission), the group aims at addressing two fundamental elements of future satellite (and, more generally, wireless) communication systems: the design of uncoordinated multiple access schemes for massive satellite IoT networks, and the construction of lightweight quantum-resistant cryptographic primitives to ensure a long-term secure communication. Relying on a long-lasting and strong collaboration on several research topics, the groups at TUM and DLR will bring together their expertise and tightly collaborate within this activity.

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