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FUTURED. ZAL Magazin 2024

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Future. Created in Hamburg.<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> MAGAZINE<br />

T<br />

u<br />

FROM H 2 TO AI<br />

Check out current research pro jects<br />

at <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter. And discover<br />

promising approaches that will<br />

change aviation soon.<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

r<br />

WIFM?<br />


Discover the LuFo Klima program:<br />

An exclusive insight from Jan Bode,<br />

Director Project Management<br />

Agency for Aviation Research.<br />

U<br />

e<br />


This <strong>FUTURED</strong> magazine is for<br />

reading, listening, and watching!<br />

Take out your mobile phone to<br />

get started.

<strong>FUTURED</strong>.<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> MAGAZINE<br />

['fju t∫әd]<br />

<strong>FUTURED</strong> is an adjective … describing what<br />

we do. We shape the future of aviation.<br />

Every day. Together. The <strong>FUTURED</strong> magazine<br />

is a part of this, showing what we strive<br />

for, what we implement, and how we do it.<br />

We are progressive, passionate, and visionary.<br />

We are futured.<br />

Future. Created in Hamburg.






Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla<br />

Roland Gerhards, CEO <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH,<br />

interviewing the key figure<br />

behind the new anchor tenant of<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter.<br />

The participation and involvement of the DLR at the<br />

Hamburg aviation site have always been diverse. It includes<br />

the branches of three institutes, the Innovation<br />

Center for Quantum Computing, a DLR School Lab, and,<br />

since 2017, the two newly founded institutes for System<br />

Architectures in Aviation and for Maintenance and<br />

Modification. These two institutes are located in the<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> Tech Center. However, it is the expansion of the research<br />

center that provides them with the space they<br />

need. In the following interview Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla,<br />

Chair of the DLR Ex ec u tive Board, outlines the DLR’s activities<br />

at <strong>ZAL</strong>.<br />

2<br />

Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla,<br />

Chair of the DLR Ex ec u tive Board.<br />

GERHARDS Anke, both institutes have been based at <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

since their inception. Could you give us a brief summary of<br />

what you have achieved so far?<br />

KAYSSER-PY<strong>ZAL</strong>LA Since their establishment, both institutes<br />

have made a significant contribution to digitalization in aviation.<br />

This is crucial to accelerate the path towards climate-friendly<br />

flying, as outlined in the current DLR aviation<br />

strategy. We have now built extensive simulation tools in Hamburg<br />

through our research work, like in the ALICIA and EXACT<br />

projects, for example. With these tools, we can comprehensively<br />

design and evaluate new solutions for the future of flying.<br />

Researchers design and analyze new aircraft configurations,<br />

and the results are already being used in the BMWK’s<br />

Working Group on Climate-Neutral Aviation and also contribute<br />

to the work of international organizations and bodies such<br />

as ICAO, CAEP or IFAR.<br />

GERHARDS What role does <strong>ZAL</strong> play in this, and how will the new<br />

workspaces in <strong>ZAL</strong>’s extension affect the work of the institutes?<br />

KAYSSER-PY<strong>ZAL</strong>LA We conduct research in Hamburg at the<br />

interface between development, digitalization and real application.<br />

The proximity to the aviation industry and operations<br />

is essential for us. Key stakeholders such as Airbus or<br />

Lufthansa Technik are also present at <strong>ZAL</strong>. Thus, <strong>ZAL</strong> serves<br />

as a platform for cross-sectoral dialog, a catalyst for collaboration<br />

within the aviation research community in Hamburg.<br />

The state-of-the-art work areas in the new premises of <strong>ZAL</strong> II<br />

are very beneficial for our researchers, which were planned<br />

in collaboration with <strong>ZAL</strong> from the beginning. Additionally, the<br />

Large-Scale Facility Application Center MRO of the DLR Institute<br />

of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul will move there, with<br />

plenty of additional space for its extension, MORE. <strong>ZAL</strong> provides<br />

the necessary capacity for experiments at relevant<br />

scales, such as entire fuselage and wing segments. A group from<br />

the DLR Institute for Engineering Thermodynamics also conducts<br />

research in <strong>ZAL</strong> on the application of fuel cells in aviation<br />

and significantly contributes to the flagship project “Hydrogen<br />

Aviation Lab” led by Lufthansa Technik at Hamburg Airport.<br />

GERHARDS Why did the DLR choose to settle in <strong>ZAL</strong>?<br />

KAYSSER-PY<strong>ZAL</strong>LA <strong>ZAL</strong> has established itself in Hamburg as<br />

an innovation hub and research infrastructure at the world’s<br />

third-largest aviation site. Thus, it is an important interface for<br />

us as a major research institution with industry, SMEs and other<br />

research partners and universities at the site. The diverse<br />

network activities and the provision of jointly used infrastructure<br />

promote exchanges with all stakeholders in aviation. The<br />

proximity of research and industry accelerates innovation, development<br />

and technology transfer. This is a special concern<br />

for us at DLR. Here, we have a large intersection with the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

concept. As a shareholder of <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH, we can participate in<br />

shaping the future of <strong>ZAL</strong> and its strategy. It is also important<br />

for us to always consider the contact with SMEs and startups.<br />

GERHARDS Finally, allow me to ask a somewhat personal<br />

question: what significance does aviation have in your private<br />

life? Do you have an anecdote you want to share?<br />

KAYSSER-PY<strong>ZAL</strong>LA It’s not so much an anecdote that I’d like<br />

to share – rather, it’s an experience I’ve taken from my aviation<br />

life. This sport is associated with extensive maintenance<br />

work. Especially in the winter months, it was necessary to prepare<br />

the aircraft for the next season. Certainly, these works<br />

were characterized by teamwork because everyone knew that<br />

what they were doing here benefited everyone. And so it is<br />

today: the team is the key to success.<br />



The <strong>FUTURED</strong> magazine is for reading,<br />

listening and watching!<br />

Article<br />

Audio<br />

Email<br />

Video<br />

Website<br />

AI &<br />




HYDROGEN &<br />


IMPULSES &<br />


06 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK Inspiring Young Talent for Aviation<br />

08 DLR SL Pressing Times Call for Revolutions<br />

10 DLR SL Scaled Flight Testing: Hybird Demonstrator<br />

12 SFS Invisible but Essential<br />

14 LIEBHERR Very Ambitious Projects<br />

16 LIEBHERR Investing in the Future of Flight<br />

18 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK Innovation Campus in the Making<br />

22 DLR MO Dents and Buckles<br />

23 DLR MO Getting Assets to Talk<br />

23 DLR MO Making the Invisible Visible<br />

24 LUFTHANSA TECHNIK Leadpeen Leading the Way to Digitalized Inspections<br />

26 LUFTHANSA TECHNIK Inside and Out: Connectivity in the Skies<br />

28 <strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH Green and Connected<br />

4 5<br />

30 AES The Future of Connectivity<br />

32 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK SAF – What You Need to Know about Aviation’s Hot Topic<br />

36 HAW H 2 -Powered Aircraft Configurations<br />

38 <strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH L(H 2 )-Powered Drones<br />

40 TECCON Scalable Green Propulsion<br />

42 DLR TT Research for Sustainable Fuel Cell Systems in Aviation<br />

44 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK The Aviation Research Program LuFo Klima<br />

48 <strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH Prototyping the Cabin of the Future<br />

50 AVIASONIC Sustainable Aircraft Fire Extinguisher MRO<br />

52 JETLITE Lighting the Way to Less Jet Lag<br />

54 <strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH Crafting Cabin Components: What’s Next?<br />

56 Fraunhofer IFAM Advanced Lightweight Robotics<br />

58 AIRBUS Direct Air Capture Nominated for German Federal President’s Price<br />

60 FFT CFRP Fuselage Assembly Using Different Welding Technologies<br />

62 SIEMENS Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft Design for Sustainable Aviation<br />

66 IDS Ergonomic Studies for Increased Safety and Comfort<br />

68 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK Hamburg Aviation Green Podcast<br />

70 CAPGEMINI Innovation: The Driver for a Sustainable Future<br />

72 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK Diehl Aviation – The Sooner the Better!<br />

74 IMPULSES & OUTLOOK proTechnicale – Ready for Takeoff<br />

76 Imprint






proTechnicale<br />

Located in the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter, proTechnicale offers<br />

a program for female high school graduates (on-site<br />

Gap Year program) and another one for female upper<br />

secondary school students (five-month digital program)<br />

to explore study and career options.<br />

For more information, visit<br />

www.protechnicale.de<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> offers schoolchildren an insight into the<br />

exciting world of aviation research on many<br />

different occasions. Here is what we offer:<br />

YoTa Hamburg<br />

NAT Initiative<br />

6 7<br />

The mission of Young Talents, YoTa, is to ignite young<br />

The NAT initiative involves over 145 organizations<br />

people’s passion for technical careers through a variety<br />

dedicated to inspiring students sustainably for<br />

of event formats. The popular summer camp “Flying” as<br />

STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering,<br />

well as the newly introduced fall camp “Hydrogen” will<br />

and Mathematics) and recruiting them for corresponding<br />

courses of study and STEM professions.<br />

both introduce the young talents to <strong>ZAL</strong>.<br />

When? On July 25, <strong>2024</strong> and October 21, <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> is a committed partner and frequent host for<br />

excursions organized by the initiative.<br />

For information and registration,<br />

visit www.yota-hamburg.de<br />

For more information, visit<br />

www.nat.hamburg<br />

Girls’ Day<br />

Once a year, proTechnicale and <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH<br />

organize a colorful program for girls interested<br />

in aviation and technology. The spots<br />

are highly coveted and typically fill up<br />

quickly! When? On April 24, 2025.<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> School Day<br />

Once a year, <strong>ZAL</strong> organizes a visit day for<br />

school classes. Interested <strong>ZAL</strong> partners showcase<br />

themselves in the Innovation Marketplace<br />

and the Auditorium, aiming to attract<br />

future talent. When? On October 15, <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Excursion to <strong>ZAL</strong>?<br />

Many researchers at <strong>ZAL</strong> love their work<br />

and are excited to present their topics<br />

to young talents. For this reason, we<br />

invite interested school classes to visit<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter on class trips.<br />

Register now at event@zal.aero<br />

Registration for visitors<br />

and exhibitors available at<br />

event@zal.aero<br />

Further information can be found<br />

in the <strong>ZAL</strong> flyer for schools.

DLR SL<br />







ATS level<br />

Airport level<br />

Aircraft level<br />

This is stating the obvious: aviation has to<br />

become sustainable fast. The last part is<br />

the real challenge. If the set climate goals<br />

are to be met, all important decisions regarding<br />

technologies and policies in the<br />

context of the aeronautical sector will have<br />

to be taken by 2028. But the overall aviation<br />

system is hugely complex and interwoven,<br />

characterized by countless interdependencies.<br />

To date, new technologies and their potential<br />

impact could be analyzed for instance at aircraft<br />

level. How energy-efficiently would an aircraft fly<br />

if operated with an LH 2 propulsion system? How<br />

would this aircraft need to be used in order to<br />

have the least impact on the climate? Alternatively,<br />

it could be assessed at an operational<br />

level, or a combination of both. The possibility to<br />

put it in the global system context and link it to<br />

the entire life cycle was lacking so far, but is<br />

needed to reach the ultimate goal.<br />


In order to know what the best ways are to go<br />

forward, it is necessary to have a clear idea of<br />

what climate, environmental, economic and social<br />

impact a revolutionary aircraft technology<br />

will have across multiple levels: aircraft, airport<br />

and global air transport system level (ATS). This is<br />

relevant to every player involved in this game, regardless<br />

whether manufacturer, supplier, airport,<br />

airline, policy-maker, etc. This mammoth<br />

task of holistically monitoring and assessing the<br />

potential of aviation in-depth and in a global context<br />

can only be managed with a digital framework<br />

into which the expertise of a wide range of<br />

specialist fields and according tools are involved.<br />



It thus comes as no surprise that the German<br />

Aerospace Center (DLR), the largest aeronautics<br />

research center in Europe, has made this its<br />

mission. Within the project ALICIA (Aviation Life<br />

Cycle and Impact Assessment), the DLR Institute<br />

of System Architectures in Aeronautics leads the<br />

setup of a digital and collaborative framework,<br />

within which the in-depth expertise of ten DLR<br />

institutes and their wide variety of research<br />

tools are integrated. This large DLR framework<br />

cannot “only” assess the environmental and economic<br />

impact of any technology, but also link it<br />

to the entire life cycle.<br />

This is necessary if sustainable answers are to<br />

be found to today’s problems. With the ALICIA<br />

framework such an assessment could be around<br />

30 to 60 percent faster than before, depending<br />

on the actual use case.<br />


The DLR’s vision is to establish a harmonized European<br />

approach with EU research partners,<br />

which is why it is crucial that this platform is expandable<br />

and everything remains transparent<br />

and open to others, too.<br />

Thanks to ALICIA, the DLR can already quickly<br />

and reliably advise engineers and decisionmakers<br />

and carry out trade-off analyses (“what<br />

if” scenarios): thanks to the advice and analyses,<br />

data-based decisions can also be made in national<br />

and international committees in the complex<br />

field of the overall aviation system (climate<br />

impact, energy requirements and also life cycle<br />

assessment as key points).<br />

Overview of the multilevel approach to impact assessment.<br />


8 9<br />

CALL FOR<br />


Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

Visualization of ALICIA (Aviation Life Cycle<br />

and Impact Assessment).<br />

Prajwal Shiva Prakasha and Patrick Ratei discussing the<br />

ALICIA framework and dashboard.<br />

To make the highly complex interrelationships<br />

more tangible, DLR is currently developing the<br />

interactive ALICIA dashboard, too. This webbased<br />

tool is comparable to a more complex<br />

dashboard in the car and will help to visualize<br />

the assessment results and make them interpretable<br />

to support decision-making processes.<br />

It could, for example, show how a new<br />

technology, a flight guidance procedure or a policy<br />

measure influences the sustainability and<br />

performance of the overall aviation system.<br />

With this, the DLR actively shapes and accelerates<br />

the path to climate-compatible aviation in<br />

conjunction with its partners, while remaining a<br />

neutral expert.<br />

Find out more about<br />

the institute leading<br />

the project.<br />


Prajwal Prakasha<br />


DLR SL<br />





HyBird story and test<br />

flights in a video.<br />

calculate everything through – there is always<br />

the possibility that things will turn out a little differently<br />

in practice.<br />

FLORIAN Exactly. And of course, scaled test flights<br />

can’t tell you everything. As Gunnar said – it is not<br />

only cheaper, but much faster and a way to put<br />

the finger on the open sore. Building a 1:4 scale<br />

demonstrator made a lot of sense, as it gives a<br />

much better indication of flight dynamics, etc.<br />

Director of DLR Institute of System Architectures in Aeronautics<br />

Björn Nagel, Gunnar Haase and Florian Will (l.t.r.) in the production site<br />

in front of the HyBird demonstrator.<br />

The HyBird team and Airbus Protospace team after the successful maiden flight in DLR airport Cochstedt.<br />


Dr. Thomas Zill<br />

thomas.zill@dlr.de<br />

Standing in a bright hangar at <strong>ZAL</strong>, Florian<br />

Will and Gunnar Haase share their excitement<br />

over the HyBird demonstrator.<br />

Florian, what am I looking at behind you?<br />

FLORIAN What you see is our HyBird demonstrator.<br />

A couple of friends from university and I<br />

came up with a first draft of this future aircraft<br />

concept for the German Aerospace Center’s<br />

(DLR) annual design challenge in 2019. After<br />

graduating, two of us came to work for the DLR<br />

Institute of System Architectures in Aeronautics<br />

in conjunction with the DLR Aachen facility Small<br />

Aircraft Technologies. With two other colleagues,<br />

we started to work on the Future General Avia-<br />

tion Aircraft (FGAA) project with the aim of further<br />

developing the HyBird and – ultimately –<br />

getting it to fly. This is also how I met Gunnar.<br />

Gunnar, what was your involvement in this?<br />

GUNNAR I’ve been working with the Airbus Protospace<br />

based in <strong>ZAL</strong> right from the start. We<br />

have a lot of experience in building scaled aircraft<br />

prototypes. This is why the DLR institute<br />

approached us and wanted to collaborate. They<br />

believe in scaled test flights just as much as we<br />

do – because it gives us the chance to find out<br />

much faster what we need to look at more closely<br />

and what needs further improvement. As a pilot<br />

myself, I know that no matter how much you<br />

GUNNAR True. And did you know that in other<br />

countries, such as the USA, scaled test flights<br />

are very common? Here they are rather the exception<br />

...<br />

FLORIAN ... which is actually a pity, because it<br />

can really help to finalize concepts for sustainable<br />

future aircraft much faster. Of course, it always<br />

depends on how scaled down a demonstrator<br />

is and how large the original aircraft.<br />

So how did you actually work together in<br />

practice?<br />

GUNNAR Ways in <strong>ZAL</strong> are short and it is a great<br />

place to collaborate. It even helps to break down<br />

mental barriers which was great in our case. The<br />

HyBird team comes to Hamburg on a regular basis<br />

but is spread across different locations. They<br />

came to us with their HyBird concept and we<br />

had a great kick-off workshop. Based on that,<br />

our team developed the concept for a scaled<br />

demonstrator and started building it right here.<br />

We iterated, discussed and worked together<br />

throughout the process.<br />

What would you say was the highlight in<br />

your collaboration?<br />

GUNNAR The absolute peak for all of us were<br />

the actual test flights. After all the work invested<br />

into building the demonstrator, we arranged for<br />

our test flights.<br />

FLORIAN Yes, it was like a rollercoaster ride –<br />

both in preparation for the flight and during<br />

the event. There were many questions and uncertainties<br />

whether the weather would be appropriate<br />

for flying, whether the aircraft would<br />

crash and so on. When HyBird flew, we were absolutely<br />

overwhelmed, which I think you can see<br />

in our video. But the flight was also quite shaky ...<br />

10 11<br />

GUNNAR … but our experienced pilot managed<br />

to land it smoothly and then did a second test<br />

flight round. I think for the HyBird team even<br />

more than for us it was both a success and also a<br />

bit of a disappointment that we couldn’t fly more<br />

rounds. But the scaled test flights served their<br />

purpose: pinpointing what needs to be in focus.<br />

FLORIAN True. And during this event we were<br />

already in the process of designing an updated<br />

version of our HyBird. We had an unusual idea<br />

for the propulsion system. It was risky from the<br />

start – but there was a chance it could work. A<br />

chance we wanted to take. A chance like those<br />

we need to take if we want to come up with novel<br />

ideas. But again, this was only possible with a<br />

scaled prototype as the risk is minimized and no<br />

lives are at risk with the pilot operating from outside<br />

the aircraft …<br />

Nice closing words. I can see that you enjoyed<br />

working together and I have heard that<br />

you are still working on your new concept.<br />

FLORIAN Yes, that’s right. We hope to have it flying<br />

this autumn. This time we will build parts of<br />

it in Aachen, but of course we don’t want to do<br />

without the great and valuable input from the<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> Airbus Protospace team …

SFS<br />







The aviation industry is currently facing pivotal<br />

challenges, especially in customization and automation.<br />

As a producer of fastening systems, SFS<br />

firmly believes in achieving these objectives<br />

through product simplification and smart interface<br />

integration. By merging interior lighting into<br />

the sidewall fastenings of aircraft cabins, we<br />

streamline assembly and enhance passenger<br />

comfort significantly. This initiative has led to the<br />

development of the lite2fix system, a direct result<br />

of our involvement in the CALITO project, part of<br />

the European Clean Sky2 program ACCLAIM.<br />

The lite2fix concept in action during the side wall installation.<br />



12<br />

The SFS team in Hamburg in conversation<br />

about the product Eco Latch.<br />


13<br />

These were the key criteria for developing the<br />

Eco Latch. In the pursuit of a new design that includes<br />

a light indicator for the overhead compartment’s<br />

fill level, it was imperative to retain<br />

the passengers’ familiar motions for opening the<br />

luggage bin. The repositioning of the Eco Latch<br />

to the lower edge of the overhead compartment<br />

creates significant advantages. This strategic<br />

placement not only reduces the mass of the luggage<br />

bin doors, but also maximizes the utilization<br />

GmbH, provides extensive support for industrial<br />

of available space for a smooth integration<br />

research and networking in civil aviation.<br />

of lighting electronics, simultaneously refining<br />

Test of Eco Latch at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.<br />

the intricacy of the mechanical design.<br />

Learn more<br />

about SFS here.<br />


Marc Dibowski<br />

marc.dibowski@sfs.com<br />

This slogan highlights the essential nature<br />

of our fastening systems which, while not<br />

visible, play a critical role – they’re “invisible”<br />

but absolutely essential. They ensure<br />

that the components of the passenger cabin<br />

are securely attached to the aircraft structure<br />

and are therefore indispensable. With<br />

more than 25 years of experience in developing<br />

and manufacturing fastening solutions<br />

for renowned companies in the aviation<br />

industry, SFS is not only a leader in this<br />

field but also a reliable partner for customers<br />

across various industries and markets.<br />



Hamburg’s focus on aircraft interiors and production,<br />

complemented by the facilities at <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

SFS Aircraft Components, headquartered in Althengstett<br />

close to Stuttgart, operates an office<br />

with a specialized three-person team since the<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> building was first established in 2016. Their<br />

core mission is the creation of innovative products<br />

and cutting-edge technologies that create<br />

substantial, lasting technical value to the SFS<br />

Group’s extensive portfolio. With access to a<br />

well-equipped lab, a fuselage demonstrator and<br />

an industrial 3D printer for producing flightready<br />

components, they can rapidly turn new<br />

concepts into tested realities. This efficient<br />

workflow has recently given rise to innovations<br />

such as the Eco Hinge, Eco Latch and lite2fix.<br />


The standout innovation of the Eco Hinge is its<br />

integration into the Hatrack-Sandwich panel,<br />

which improves load distribution as it applies<br />

forces evenly across both sides of the panel.<br />

This integration results in a design that not only<br />

offers a sleek appearance but also maximizes<br />

the available luggage space, providing a uniform<br />

and attractive look for passengers. Additionally,<br />

the incorporation of a quick release mechanism<br />

within the panel itself significantly simplifies the<br />

process of quickly detaching and reattaching the<br />

luggage bin doors, allowing for seamless in-situ<br />

adjustments.<br />

Geometry comparison of Eco Hinge to standard hinge.





“We are proud to be a<br />

partner of Airbus<br />

working on solutions<br />

to cope with the<br />

challenges in aviation.”<br />

Dr. Klaus Schneider, Chief Technology Officer<br />

Nathalie Duquesne, Managing Director, Liebherr-Aerospace<br />

Toulouse SAS (right), taking a look at the eECS test bench.<br />

The development of the “More Electric<br />

Aircraft” of the future is a joint priority of<br />

the aviation industry. Among the solutions<br />

being considered, Airbus and Liebherr-<br />

Aerospace are working on systems and<br />

equipment to reduce fuel consumption<br />

and to contribute to more sustainable air<br />

transport.<br />



Liebherr-Aerospace is supporting Airbus in its<br />

goal of developing the world’s first hydrogen-powered<br />

commercial aircraft. The Original<br />

Equipment Manufacturer is developing an air<br />

supply system for the fuel cell dedicated to the<br />

propulsion of Airbus demonstrator aircraft.<br />

After the first study phase, Liebherr-Aerospace<br />

has already designed and delivered a functional<br />

air supply system demonstrator with a power of<br />

1 MW, which is installed in Airbus testing facilities.<br />

During the current second study phase, Liebherr<br />

aims to design and qualify a safety-offlight<br />

air supply demonstrator, which is able to<br />

withstand the integration constraints in an operational<br />

environment close to the propulsion system.<br />

This demonstrator will support a flight test<br />

campaign to demonstrate the performance of a<br />

fuel cell propulsion system under operational<br />

conditions by the middle of the decade.<br />

“We are very pleased to support Airbus in this<br />

ambitious project. We are continuously investing<br />

in research and d evelopment to offer innovative<br />

technological breakthrough solutions to<br />

our customers. Our systems and components<br />

are on board the Airbus aircraft family and we<br />

are proud to say that we will also participate in<br />

this emblematic program that will contribute to<br />

transform aviation toward a sustainable future,”<br />

commented Dr. Nathalie Duquesne, Managing<br />

Director at Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse SAS.<br />




Air conditioning systems are one of the main energy<br />

consumers on board an aircraft, because<br />

they take or bleed off air from the engines, which<br />

reduces their thrust output by around five to<br />

eight percent.<br />

14 15<br />

Airbus will have developed the world’s first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft by 2035.<br />

Find out more<br />

about Liebherr.<br />

This is a good reason for Liebherr-Aerospace<br />

and Airbus to work on a Clean Sky 2 initiative to<br />

design a more energy-efficient electrical environment<br />

control system (eECS) for more electric<br />

aircraft that will need less fuel and emit less CO 2<br />

and NO X .<br />

Instead of bleeding the air from the engines, the<br />

eECS will use only ambient air from outside the<br />

aircraft. This means that the engines will have<br />

more thrust available – especially during take-off<br />

and the climbing phase until the aircraft has<br />

reached its cruising height. The ambient air is<br />

then pressurized and conditioned to a temperature<br />

that is comfortable for passengers and<br />

crews.<br />

Liebherr and Airbus built a high-level demonstrator<br />

with the support of several partners.<br />

Within the frame of Clean Sky 2, the OEM and<br />

Liebherr’s more energy-efficient electrical Environmental<br />

Control System (eECS).<br />


Dr. Kader Benmachou<br />

kader.benmachou@liebherr.com<br />

aircraft manufacturer joined forces with twelve<br />

consortia from five European countries including<br />

academics as well as small and middle-class<br />

enterprises.<br />

The key technologies of the eECS have been successfully<br />

tested on special test benches. Thanks<br />

to these tests and the virtual demonstration<br />

with representative eECS models, the system<br />

reached Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 5 at the<br />

end of 2023. However, as part of the Clean Aviation<br />

program, the eECS will continuously be improved.<br />

It will become a fully integrated thermal<br />

management concept, covering the critical task<br />

of cooling electrical components for hybridpowered<br />





Liebherr-Aerospace has always been on the<br />

forefront in terms of R&D activities of electro-mechanical<br />

actuation technology (EMA) for<br />

medium to large commercial aircraft applications<br />

(EASA CS-25).<br />




As a solution provider and leading supplier<br />

of the aviation industry, Liebherr-Aerospace<br />

consistently invests above-industry- average<br />

ratios into the R&D activities in its fields of<br />

competence. The company is conducting intensive<br />

research into solutions to make aviation<br />

more climate-friendly. The focus lies<br />

on the next generation of environmental<br />

control systems, electric actuators as well<br />

as electric wing, auxiliary power generation<br />

systems, hydraulic power supply, and thermal<br />

and power management.<br />



Liebherr-Aerospace is exploring new materials<br />

and manufacturing processes to reduce the cost<br />

of fuel cell systems and increase their scalability.<br />

Additionally, by collaborating with various partners,<br />

including universities, research institutions<br />

and industry partners, it has been able to advance<br />

the research and development of fuel cell<br />

systems, not only in aviation but also in rail and<br />

automotive industries.<br />

An emblematic project of Liebherr consists of<br />

using a hydrogen fuel cell power source to generate<br />

sufficient electrical power, in the range of<br />

400 kW, to feed all the non-propulsion electrical<br />

systems of a new-generation, single-aisle aircraft,<br />

while ensuring the thermal management<br />

of the whole (fuel cells and electrical systems). In<br />

order to test and assess this solution in a representative<br />

environment, Liebherr installed a<br />

hydrogen test bench in its test center at its<br />

Toulouse site.<br />

Now the company is stepping up the experience<br />

to make it compatible for the future: Liebherr is<br />

expanding its portfolio to smaller-sized actuators.<br />

The new concept allows the transition from<br />

customized design to customized assembly of<br />

standardized modules. It specifically targets the<br />

rising Advanced Air Mobility sector expanding<br />

also into smaller (EASA CS-23) aircraft, business<br />

jets and helicopters. The family concept takes<br />

advantage of millions of in-service flight hours of<br />

geared actuators and related electronics collected<br />

during the last decades in numerous aircraft<br />

programs.<br />


The remote electronic unit (REU) is a perfect<br />

match with the small EMA family, and Liebherrʼs<br />

proven system integration capability is taking<br />

credit from decades of flight control system development<br />

for all major aircraft manufacturers.<br />

All relevant actuation system architectures can<br />

be realized with these elements.<br />

The design concept of the REU offers great versatility<br />

for system and position control, data<br />

concentration, monitoring and signal conversion<br />

as well as high reliability – an ideal solution<br />

for different kinds of applications.<br />

Hydrogen test bench in Liebherr-Aerospace’s test center<br />

in Toulouse (France).<br />


Liebherr-Aerospace is focusing on the development<br />

of next-generation aircraft based on a<br />

more electric architecture. Its Smart Integrated<br />

Wing Demonstrator is one of those architectures.<br />

It was funded by Clean Sky 2, which is part<br />

of Clean Aviation, a European Union research<br />

and innovation program to develop cleaner air<br />

transport technologies. The demonstrator combines<br />

several sub-systems developed in national<br />

research projects and focuses on the electrical<br />

and hybrid wing actuation systems, enabling<br />

synergies with other systems, such as landing<br />

gears. The fly-by-wire controls architecture and<br />

the high-voltage DC power actuation network<br />

are key elements of Liebherr’s vision for more<br />

sustainable next-generation aircraft systems.<br />

16 17<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

Working on technology for the<br />

next generation of aircraft:<br />

Liebherr-Aerospace’s test lab in<br />

Lindenberg (Germany).<br />

The small electro-mechanical actuation technology<br />

(small EMA) allows the transition from customized design<br />

to customized assembly of standardized modules.<br />


Improved aerodynamics need longer wing spans<br />

and longer wings need to fold their wing tips to<br />

match with the airport gates. Liebherr is able to<br />

provide reliable folding mechanisms for future<br />

more efficient wing designs.<br />

The aerodynamics of the wing combined with<br />

new energy-savings engines will considerably reduce<br />

kerosene consumption. The folding wing<br />

tips reduce the wingspan of aircrafts allowing<br />

them to use standard gates at the airports, like<br />

all other airplanes, without any additional costs<br />

for the airline. Before the airplane takes off, the<br />

wing tips are once again folded out into the horizontal<br />

position.<br />


Sebastian Ziehm<br />



<strong>ZAL</strong> TECHCENTER EXPANSION<br />




The completed extension of the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter<br />

marks just the first of two expansion phases<br />

for <strong>ZAL</strong>. Another one is planned in the form of<br />

a new building that will adjoin the existing <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

parking garage across the street. The basis for<br />

both of the already completed and planned expansions<br />

is an evaluation of a study that examines<br />

the utilization and assessment of research<br />

conditions at <strong>ZAL</strong>. The study was conducted by<br />

the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering<br />

and Organization (published in 2021,<br />

updated after Covid in 2023). It is based on a<br />

comprehensive survey of current and potential<br />

users of the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter as well as a workshop<br />

that took place with members of the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

shareholders.<br />

The study's results revealed relative satisfaction<br />

with the conditions of the original <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

building, while also highlighting the needs and<br />

desires of respondents for the further development<br />

of <strong>ZAL</strong> into a campus-like environment.<br />


The analysis highlights the major importance<br />

of communication and collaboration for the future<br />

and the fact that many people would come<br />

to the <strong>ZAL</strong> Campus precisely for that reason.<br />

This means that the need for communication<br />

and work in changing constellations must be<br />

spatially supported. It is also important to consider<br />

that activities change depending on the<br />

phase of the project as well as the setup of individuals<br />

and the intensity of collaboration.<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> Annex:<br />

an annex to the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

TechCenter is to be<br />

built next to the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

parking garage.<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter:<br />

main building with<br />

extension.<br />

Office world<br />

Office spaces at <strong>ZAL</strong> are<br />

typically shared and used<br />

for flexible purposes. This is<br />

because many researchers<br />

move between laboratories,<br />

hangar space and work -<br />

shop areas as well as attending<br />

events and working<br />

from home.<br />

18 19<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

In general, a highly attractive work environment<br />

with a focus on communication is considered<br />

very important. Rooms for collaborative<br />

creative work should play a particular role in<br />

this regard.<br />

Seating staircase<br />

The seating staircase not only<br />

connects the floors, its wide steps<br />

also serve as a seating area.<br />

Interplay of different<br />

materials such as terrazzo and<br />

wood. Textiles are used to<br />

create deliberate color accents.


<strong>ZAL</strong> TECHCENTER EXPANSION<br />

At the same time, it will be important to connect<br />

the virtual and real worlds as effectively as possible,<br />

which will be a central theme on the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

Campus. Especially in hybrid meeting situations,<br />

it will be necessary to create the feeling on both<br />

sides, remotely and on premise, that everyone<br />

is equally present in the (virtual) space.<br />


THE <strong>ZAL</strong> COMMUNITY<br />

From the perspective of coworking research<br />

and in light of the described requirements, the<br />

emergence of a community and a shared spirit<br />

will be an important success factor. Buildings<br />

and concepts can contribute significantly<br />

to this by promoting openness, transparency<br />

and encounters.<br />

Of paramount importance is the opportunity<br />

to establish diverse contacts, including within<br />

the aviation industry. Due to the identified<br />

work typologies (see infographic), higher user<br />

absence is expected. Nevertheless, for the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

Campus and especially the coworking area, it<br />

is essential to foster a communal culture<br />

across company boundaries, as the aspect of<br />

networking with other players in aviation and<br />

other industries is highly valued by the respondents.<br />

Accordingly, these needs must be supported<br />

by appropriate spatial and organizational<br />

arrangements.<br />

The expansions of <strong>ZAL</strong> support the concept of<br />

a <strong>ZAL</strong> Campus. This is characterized by innovative<br />

research areas, which are designed according<br />

to modern coworking principles on<br />

the one hand and tailored to the specific needs<br />

of <strong>ZAL</strong> on the other hand. The offering is complemented<br />

by services specifically customized<br />

to the <strong>ZAL</strong>, consisting of community management,<br />

events, technical support and research<br />

infrastructures.<br />

20 21<br />

Meet & Work<br />

Designing meeting spaces<br />

through attractive spaces.<br />




Reasons to leave the home office<br />

9.9 % 39.5 % 32.1 % 18.5 % Project meetings with external partners<br />

10.8 % 31.3 % 47.0 % 10.8 % Project meetings with colleagues<br />

14.8 % 35.8 % 37.0 % 11.1 % Exchange with highly qualified experts<br />

8.4 % 37.3 % 37.3 % 16.9 % Informal meetings and social exchange<br />

12.0 % 25.3 % 39.8 % 19.3 %<br />

Attractive events<br />

“The task is to develop an architecture<br />

that promotes interdisciplinarity,<br />

increases interaction and stimulates<br />

communication.”<br />

ATP Architekten Ingenieure<br />

never rarely sometimes often always

DLR<br />

DLR MO RESEARCH AT <strong>ZAL</strong><br />


TO TALK<br />

Read our latest<br />

publication on<br />

the topic.<br />

Together with its industrial and academic partners,<br />

the DLR Institute of Maintenance, Repair<br />

and Overhaul is developing new technologies<br />

for the industry 4.0. In this context, the Asset<br />

Administration Shell (AAS) plays a decisive role.<br />

The AAS can be thought of as a metamodel for<br />

industrial digital twins – and their autonomous<br />

interaction in an Internet-of-Things (IoT) marketplace. The key aspect<br />

of industry 4.0 technologies is their seamless and smart data exchange,<br />

making the AAS a valuable and pivotal framework. In terms<br />

of research, the AAS represents diverse assets, ranging from entire<br />

aircraft to components or machinery in the workshop. With human-machine<br />

interfaces, it’s even possible to use it as a digital representation<br />

for human work. The AAS features digital product passports,<br />

process properties, condition descriptions and different types<br />

of operating algorithms. At <strong>ZAL</strong>, the Institute of Maintenance, Repair<br />

and Overhaul is working in close collaboration with the DLR Institute<br />

of System Architectures in Aeronautics to establish the AAS as a proactive<br />

participant in an “Aerospace IoT.” The goal is to make it capable<br />

of independently managing its assets and negotiating requested or<br />

In Hamburg, the DLR is exploring the possibilities of Asset<br />

Administration Shells (AAS).<br />

provided services. It paves the way for<br />

greater digital value creation. The institute<br />

and its partners are contributing to<br />

this development, even with experimental<br />

verifications on its industry 4.0<br />

plateau and its Maintenance Simulation<br />

Model MaSiMO.<br />


Dr. Marco Weiss<br />

marco.weiss@dlr.de<br />

22 23<br />


Researchers examining the power of mixed<br />

reality applications in aircraft maintenance.<br />

hydrogen. Hydrogen flames are almost invisible<br />

in daylight, making it more difficult to detect<br />

and creating a serious safety risk. The<br />

During operation, the fuselage of an aircraft is exposed<br />

The team has been trying out various measurement<br />

size of a hydrogen molecule is 120 picometers,<br />

which is as small as one millionth of the<br />

See XsCAN in action<br />

in a short video.<br />

to unavoidable impacts. Bird strikes, unintended tool<br />

techniques on aircraft segments and DLR’s Airbus A320<br />

diameter of a human hair. This makes it prone<br />

drops during an overhaul or even collisions with ground<br />

D-ATRA, assessing parameters such as accuracy and<br />

to leakage through many materials. Therefore, it is crucial to detect any<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

equipment stress the material and, in some cases,<br />

create minor dents in the aircraft skin. As these dents<br />

necessary time and equipment. The key improvement<br />

is seen in the integration of mixed reality technology<br />

leakages as quickly as possible and take necessary mitigation measures,<br />

such as locating the leakage and shutting down the chamber if<br />

reduce the structural stability of the fuselage, a detailed<br />

visual inspection is required during maintenance.<br />

that enables maintainers to mark damages directly at<br />

the respective position on the aircraft and to see dam-<br />

A fuselage model allows to test out various kinds of H 2 leakages,<br />

providing a live view of the detected gas on a heat map.<br />

required. This is especially true for aircraft maintenance – to identify<br />

potential issues and facilitate the planning of MRO activities. The proj-<br />

However, conventional documentation with a simple<br />

dent & buckle chart and the decoupled workflow of detection<br />

and analysis leave scope for improvement.<br />

Researchers from the DLR Institute of Maintenance,<br />

Repair and Overhaul examined how mixed reality ap-<br />

age data projected right onto the surface of the component.<br />

This helps to reduce inspection time and increase<br />

accuracy in locating and evaluating damage as well as<br />

reduce decision-making time in operations, compared<br />

to the use of a traditional dent & buckle chart.<br />



ect XsCAN is building a multi-sensor system for detecting hydrogen<br />

leakages and collecting data for condition monitoring. The sensor system<br />

comprises several sensor nodes that are connected to a central<br />

decision-making hub called MCCU. Each node comprises a microcontroller,<br />

a CAN module and various sensors responsible for collecting<br />

data on the local environment. Additional data such as changes in hu-<br />

plications can be used to reduce labor-intensive in-<br />

midity, pressure and temperature provides useful information for<br />

Watch a short video<br />

about our mixed<br />

reality approach.<br />

spections and supplement aircraft condition-based<br />

maintenance. They demonstrated that state-of-the-art<br />

laser scanning can improve the manual assessment of<br />

dent damage and that processes can be automated.<br />


Ann-Kathrin Koschlik<br />

ann-kathrin.koschlik@dlr.de<br />


Ruchi Jha<br />

ruchi.jha@dlr.de<br />

Hydrogen is a promising alternative to<br />

conventional aircraft fuel. One major obstacle<br />

however are the safety concerns<br />

associated with the high flammability of<br />

maintenance teams. Multiple experiments are conducted by varying<br />

the distance between the sensors and recording their response to the<br />

presence of hydrogen. The collected data is then used to provide algorithm-based<br />

decisions on the probability of hydrogen leakages.



“Digitalization supports our experts to boost<br />

the inspection process, perspectively with<br />

(partially-) automated speed-up of material<br />

and repair processes.”<br />

Martin Olesch, project lead Lufthansa Technik<br />





One common research focus for Lufthansa<br />

Technik and <strong>ZAL</strong> is the development of<br />

technology for digital inspection processes<br />

that can analyze damaged parts on-wing.<br />

Within a project funded by the German<br />

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and<br />

Climate Action (funding program LuFo VI-1),<br />

the project LeadPeen recently showed the<br />

potential of such a future inspection procedure<br />

in a real aviation environment.<br />

In today’s aviation industry, the visual inspection<br />

of damages is still a mostly manual process,<br />

usually requiring highly skilled and trained experts<br />

for a large number of parts. In a time of<br />

Practical tests at the Lufthansa Technik<br />

base: already a small amount of pictures<br />

taken of this engine inlet cowling allowed<br />

for sufficient recognition results.<br />

personnel shortage, digitalization could help to<br />

speed up this process, and moreover harmonize<br />

it with consecutive processes like repair or<br />

piece part supply. It also has the potential to<br />

reduce the impact of personal or so called<br />

“ human factors.”<br />

To demonstrate the functionality of such inspection<br />

technology in the LeadPeen project, experts<br />

from Lufthansa Technik and <strong>ZAL</strong> trained a digital<br />

model for automated image recognition. Therein,<br />

even a very limited amount of photographs<br />

already achieved sufficient grades of recognition,<br />

rendering the technology basically suitable<br />

for industrial use.<br />

Subsequent tests of the technology in a real aviation<br />

environment at the Lufthansa Technik<br />

base provided the proof of concept that specific<br />

inspection tasks, done manually in the shop today,<br />

could indeed be digitally aided this way in<br />

the not-too-distant future. First exemplary use<br />

cases could comprise various aircraft piece<br />

parts, potentially paving the way to (partially-)<br />

automated inspections.<br />

24 25<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

Besides the aspect of time-saving in the inspection<br />

process itself, researchers in LeadPeen<br />

could also identify potential for digital consecutive<br />

processes, such as piece part supply and<br />

production, repair selection and knowledge<br />

management. The associated cost savings potential<br />

is estimated to be most significant when<br />

it is used to enable repairs on-wing, especially<br />

because the costly disassembly and transport of<br />

parts to maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities<br />

might then become obsolete.<br />

Inspection and labeling of defects for detection on an engine inlet<br />

cowling, here performed by Sergey Chupakin, expert from <strong>ZAL</strong>, and<br />

Liku Mittendorf as part of the work on his thesis at Lufthansa Technik.<br />


The digital image recognition demonstrated the potential of the automated inspection in<br />

comparison to the manual inspection in today’s standard process environment.<br />

Dr. Frieder Zimmermann<br />







Connectivity is crucial, both in-cabin as<br />

well as between the cabin and the outside<br />

world. The demand for these technologies<br />

is constantly growing, leading to a wide<br />

range of options. This is why Lufthansa<br />

Technik and its various partners actively<br />

engage in research and development to improve<br />

connectivity offerings – for the passengers,<br />

for developers of aircraft and their<br />

systems. Two recent <strong>ZAL</strong>-staged examples<br />

for advancements in this area are projects<br />

ADKT and BANG.<br />



In the joint project dubbed ADKT (Alternative<br />

Drahtlose KommunikationsTechnologien, English:<br />

Alternative wireless communications technologies),<br />

Lufthansa Technik AG, the Technical<br />

University of Dresden and Dresden Elektronik<br />

Ingenieurtechnik GmbH teamed up to advance<br />

wireless data communication systems within the<br />

Lufthansa Technik and its partners installed a test platform to examine wireless<br />

technologies within the ADKT project at <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter.<br />

cabin of commercial aircraft. Funded by the German<br />

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and<br />

Climate Action, the project evaluated various<br />

wireless technologies – such as WiFi 6E, ZigBee,<br />

Bluetooth Low Energy and Ultra-Wideband – to<br />

determine their performance and reliability for<br />

various applications. The requirements included<br />

range, bitrate, localization accuracy, security, airworthiness<br />

certification, interoperability and coexistence<br />

potential.<br />

To conduct this research in the most realistic<br />

and practical manner, the ADKT test campaign<br />

was one of the first to make extensive use of one<br />

of Lufthansa Technik’s largest research assets,<br />

an original Airbus A320 fuselage delivered to<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> Center for Applied Aeronautical Research<br />

last year. It retained several rows of seats from<br />

its original airline cabin interior, thus creating<br />

the perfect environment for testing the various<br />

wireless technologies. This allows for simulations<br />

of a broad spectrum of connectivity use<br />

cases in a passenger cabin, for example live video<br />

streaming or audio/video on demand.<br />

While the conclusions from this project are currently<br />

being evaluated, future steps resulting<br />

from it are already envisioned to potentially<br />

drive the development of wireless inflight entertainment<br />

systems (IFE) or entirely novel wireless<br />

cabin management applications and devices. Initial<br />

ideas for the latter range from new passenger<br />

and crew-facing communication solutions or<br />

wireless control of cabin functions, such as the<br />

interior lighting, to retrofittable sensors for onboard<br />

monitoring, data mining or localization.<br />


Christoph Fehrenbach<br />

christoph.fehrenbach@lht.dlh.de<br />



If the aircraft and its systems should also be<br />

connected to the outside world, satellite communication<br />

(or SatCom for short) is without alternative.<br />

This technology – usually hidden underneath<br />

the small “humps” (randomes) easily<br />

recognizable on top of the fuselage or vertical<br />

stabilizer – is constantly evolving: new frequency<br />

bands are made available while large numbers<br />

of satellites are being placed in low-earth orbits.<br />

Today’s passengers are often no longer willing to<br />

do without reliable and fast internet connections<br />

onboard, with requirements ranging from<br />

simple text messaging to high-definition audio<br />

and video streaming. Current solutions for satellite-based<br />

onboard connectivity sometimes fall<br />

short of these ever-increasing requirements.<br />

The project Broadband in Aviation Next Generation<br />

(or BANG for short) thus elaborated proposals<br />

for the future of satellite-based onboard<br />

connectivity in commercial aviation. The joint research<br />

project between Lufthansa Technik AG,<br />

IMST GmbH, Hamburg University of Technology<br />

and Fraunhofer IIS was funded by the German<br />

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate<br />

Action.<br />

The BANG team has successfully designed and produced a demonstrator for SatCom technologies.<br />

The BANG team designed and produced a<br />

demonstrator for a modular electronically steerable<br />

antenna for commercial aircraft. The new<br />

antenna design is flat and can orient itself toward<br />

a satellite without any mechanical movement.<br />

This makes it flexible and efficient for all types of<br />

satellites, while at the same time reducing aerodynamic<br />

drag and the need for maintenance.<br />

26 27<br />

The project ended successfully in December 2023<br />

with a big gathering of all project participants at<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> Center for Applied Aeronautical Research. It<br />

culminated in a live showcase of the resulting<br />

demonstrator and its various researched technologies.<br />

It showed the potential to open promising<br />

perspectives for onboard connectivity applications<br />

and for future research on entirely<br />

new ideas for airborne SatCom antennas.<br />


Merlin Senger<br />


<strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH<br />




“The DaKliF project demonstrates<br />

that even seemingly minor elements,<br />

such as data processing and transfer,<br />

can play a significant role in promoting<br />

sustainability for aircraft.”<br />

Constantin Deneke, DaKliF Project leader at <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH<br />


Constantin Deneke<br />

constantin.deneke@zal.aero<br />

Alternative fuels like SAF or hydrogen take<br />

the spotlight in the discussion of sustainable<br />

aviation. However, the complexity of<br />

an aircraft also offers other adjustments to<br />

reduce the ecological footprint of future<br />

travels, such as the onboard network of an<br />

aircraft. This network typically consists of<br />

heavy and energy-intensive computing<br />

components and struggles to keep pace<br />

with technological advancements seen on<br />

the ground. In the collaborative project<br />

DaKliF (German for Datenplattform für<br />

The six research partners (Airbus, Diehl, TUHH, DLR, University Stuttgart and<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH) at the kick-off meeting in August 2023 at the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter.<br />

The DaKliF project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and<br />

Climate Action (BMWK).<br />

Klima neutrales Fliegen), six partners aim<br />

to make onboard networks more efficient,<br />

lighter and highly adaptable. A shared validation<br />

platform will ensure these improvements<br />

are feasible in real-world scenarios.<br />

Handling these ever-growing amounts of data is<br />

a challenge for the existing rigid network architecture.<br />

All tasks, sensor data or announcements<br />

are currently processed centrally by servers<br />

onboard the aircraft and then distributed in<br />

a star-shaped manner to the respective end devices.<br />

These systems already account for up to<br />

3 percent of fuel consumption. Increasing digitization<br />

would necessitate servers to be more<br />

powerful, consequently consuming even greater<br />

amounts of energy.<br />


An alternative is a decentralized network, where<br />

smaller computers process data close to the<br />

end device (e.g. a temperature sensor). This is<br />

known as edge computing, which enables central<br />

servers to shrink in size and reduces the necessity<br />

for cables and data transmission.<br />



How much energy can be saved when all components<br />

come together? How much weight can<br />

be saved by the new cabin network architecture?<br />

Is the network flexible enough to adapt to<br />

changing tasks? These questions will be answered<br />

by a shared testing platform, where the<br />

results of all research partners are compiled<br />

and validated. This platform tests different use<br />

cases of a smart, connected cabin and showcases<br />

the potential benefits of alternative networks<br />

for aviation.<br />

The <strong>ZAL</strong> Endpoint family offers<br />

performance and efficiency for<br />

every use case:<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

The <strong>ZAL</strong> Endpoint Standard<br />

28 version of this text.<br />

For this purpose, the Digital Cabin team of <strong>ZAL</strong> with its maximum flexibility.<br />

29<br />

GmbH has been developing the <strong>ZAL</strong> Endpoint<br />

<strong>ZAL</strong> Endpoint Performance with<br />



No Wi-Fi, old screens, crackling speakers: some<br />

flights make passengers feel technologically<br />

stuck in the past. Besides passengers’ desire for<br />

the comfort they are accustomed to at home, airlines<br />

also have a need for systems that streamline<br />

cabin operations, from passenger counting<br />

during boarding to the detection of forgotten<br />

items using AI camera systems upon arrival.<br />

family. These are versatile cabin multitools that<br />

can easily connect to end devices such as cameras,<br />

microphones or light controls thanks to<br />

numerous interfaces, thus making the cabin<br />

network highly flexible and efficient. For even<br />

more energy reduction, the variant <strong>ZAL</strong> Endpoint<br />

Eco is being developed in the project. It is<br />

tailored to the needs of low-power devices (e.g.<br />

simple proximity or temperature sensors) and is<br />

particularly lightweight and energy-efficient. Additionally,<br />

computing power for real-time AI<br />

models.<br />

Concept of the <strong>ZAL</strong> Endpoint Eco<br />

for energy-efficient applications.<br />

smart algorithms control power and<br />

energy requirements allowing devices to be put<br />

into temporary sleep mode if not needed.<br />

Discover more about the applications<br />

of the Endpoint family.

AES<br />





The current goal? Creating a hardware foundation<br />

teeming with interfaces, acting as a central<br />

hub within the AES product universe. The future<br />

goal? To seamlessly integrate it with external systems.<br />

As Oliver Wulf puts it, “With its adaptability<br />

to different software variants, the hardware unit<br />

is the perfect solution for our customers.”<br />

Moreover, the reduced need for cabling not only<br />

brings about additional cost savings, but also<br />

simplifies the overall system. The use of Ethernet<br />

technology further streamlines the process,<br />

minimizing the effort required for software<br />

development. This innovative approach ushers<br />

in a new era of efficiency, flexibility and costeffectiveness.<br />

The AES Cabin Networks team at <strong>ZAL</strong>.<br />


Oliver Wulf<br />

The CU8420 + SPE modules.<br />

oliver.wulf@aes-aero.com<br />

In 2021 AES Aircraft Elektro/Elektronik<br />

System GmbH took the bold step of relocating<br />

its Cabin Networks CC to the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

TechCenter in Hamburg. Under the leadership<br />

of Oliver Wulf, this strategic move was<br />

not just a change in geography, it was a visionary<br />

leap into a vibrant international<br />

technologic community rooted in the aviation<br />

sector. The objective? To build strong<br />

partnerships, nurture collaboration and<br />

fuel innovation. This move underscores<br />

AES’s commitment to remain at the forefront<br />

of aircraft cabin technology.<br />

Subsequently, AES’s team at <strong>ZAL</strong> has developed<br />

and continues to improve one of its flagship<br />

products, the CU8420 control unit. This versatile<br />

unit, born from a shower of VIP enquiries, showcases<br />

AES’s innovative approach. Boasting a<br />

modular design, the unit can be tailored with<br />

various modules and special functions to meet<br />

specific performance demands and interface requirements.<br />

The team at <strong>ZAL</strong> is now exploring new strategies.<br />

With the collaborative determination of their<br />

colleagues at the AES headquarters in Bremen,<br />

the possibilities are ready to be put to the test.<br />

By 2023, AES neared another breakthrough with<br />

a new test module for the core unit that harnessed<br />

the power of Single Pair Ethernet (SPE)<br />

technology. AES’s trial system is already up and<br />

running. SPE technology, a trailblazer from the<br />

automotive industry that enables Ethernet<br />

transmission over a single pair of copper wires,<br />

is set to revolutionize aircraft cabins by re placing<br />

existing data technologies. Mirko Kruse, head of<br />

CC Controls in Bremen, and his dedicated team<br />

are firm believers in its potential: while the core<br />

unit can function independently of SPE, the integration<br />

of SPE as a modular extension offers<br />

unprecedented flexibility for cabin networking<br />

systems. SPE offers numerous advantages: less<br />

cabling, lighter weight and a standardized base<br />

for networking, all built on the reliable foundation<br />

of “tried and tested” Ethernet technologies.<br />



The answer lies in the platform’s multifaceted<br />

capabilities. It can handle a host of requests, enabling<br />

the development of solutions at an expedited<br />

pace. There is no need to reinvent the connected<br />

hardware for new applications, which<br />

translates into significant time and cost savings.<br />



The answer lies in the transformative potential<br />

of Ethernet standardization. This approach enables<br />

the creation of modern applications using<br />

existing protocols and services. Standard interfacing<br />

allows the core unit to control and monitor<br />

various components such as lighting, power<br />

supplies and sensors. Complemented by SPE,<br />

the CU8420 treats cabin system networking as a<br />

cohesive system. This approach delivers valuable<br />

insights into material and cost savings. As a<br />

result, it will becomes more accessible for commercial<br />

cabin applications, not just VIPs. The<br />

power of SPE technology lies in its ability to operate<br />

a high number of components (up to 40)<br />

with only one interface, while still allowing the<br />

individual control of components. Need an additional<br />

device in an aircraft cabin? Simply connect<br />

it, thanks to daisy chaining. What’s more, it is<br />

possible to determine the distance between<br />

components, enabling spatial allocation – a feature<br />

known as topology discovery. This is not just<br />

innovation; it is a transformation in connectivity.<br />

30 31<br />


Absolutely. The core unit, with its multitude of<br />

interfaces, is undoubtedly one of the most complex<br />

products AES has ever developed. However,<br />

far from being deterred, AES views this complexity<br />

as a challenge to be embraced. The vision for<br />

the future is expansive, encompassing both<br />

The CU8420 from AES.<br />

AES’s modular control unit and its entire product<br />

portfolio. With the new module harnessing SPE<br />

technology in pre-development, the focus is on<br />

comprehensive networking, enabling numerous<br />

components to communicate and exchange data.<br />

What does this mean for AES customers? It<br />

means providing them with an all-encompassing<br />

solution that meets their demands for more efficient<br />

systems, offering a wealth of features without<br />

complicating the user experience.<br />


The next steps on this journey are clear. AES<br />

plans to equip more of its products with SPE interfaces<br />

and integrate them into its demo system.<br />

AES is ready for tomorrow’s cabin networking.<br />

Find out more<br />

about AES.



SAF – WHAT YOU<br />




Bridging the Gap to 2050:<br />

How to Decarbonize Aviation Faster<br />

With Today’s Technologies<br />


There are several production methods for SAF which need to be distinguished:<br />

1. HEFA: short for “Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids”. Its production<br />

is based on classical oils and fats and constitutes over<br />

95 percent of today’s SAF. According to experts, there is enough<br />

feedstock to potentially cover 5%–10% of the total jet fuel demand,<br />

but not more.<br />

2. Alcohol-to-jet: this procedure converts biomass into ethanol,<br />

isobutanol or methanol – and then into aviation fuel. The company<br />

LanzaJet is the most renowned player in this field.<br />

1. We already know how to produce<br />

sustainable aviation fuels. It is a<br />

question of scaling, not a question<br />

of technology.<br />

2. While no aircraft is yet (!) certified to<br />

fly on SAF, it is relatively easy to start<br />

by blending more SAF into the existing<br />

fuel mix and increasing the<br />

percentage of SAF over time.<br />

3. Using SAF means fully utilizing the<br />

existing airport infrastructures,<br />

from pipes to fuel trucks and apron<br />

installations.<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

Guest editorial by airliner analyst Bjorn Fehrm (on the left)<br />

and airline and aerospace expert Nico Buchholz – based on the<br />

study “Bridging the Gap to 2050” by Sustainable Aero Lab.<br />

WHAT IS SAF?<br />

Sustainable aviation fuel, SAF, is made from renewable sources. It is a<br />

“drop-in fuel,” which can be blended with fossil jet fuel. In turn, the<br />

blended fuel requires neither special infrastructure nor equipment<br />

changes. SAF is already certified for blend ratios of up to 50% for existing<br />

jet engines and up to 100% for new engines.<br />


Consuming conventional jet fuel releases fossil CO 2 , pulling it from the<br />

ground and adding it to the biosphere’s total carbon. Meanwhile,<br />

burning SAF returns carbon to the atmosphere that had previously<br />

been absorbed by plants or that would have been released as industrial<br />

waste gases or household garbage. The result is a net “well-towake”<br />

reduction in life-cycle CO 2 emissions. This can be as high as 80%<br />

for the SAF produced from biomass (e.g. cooking oil). As a result, commercial<br />

flights powered by SAF are coined “net-zero,” as opposed to<br />

“zero emissions.” Synthetic fuels produced from captured CO 2 and renewable<br />

electricity can reach well-to-wake reductions of 100% relative<br />

to fossil jet fuel. Some feedstocks even promise to be carbon negative.<br />

4. Power to Liquid (PtL), or e-fuel: a long-term source that will require<br />

cheap energy that can’t easily be routed to consumers to motivate<br />

this pathway. Direct capture of solar energy and production of SAF<br />

in reactors would pose a long-term possibility – feedstock that is,<br />

in theory, available in abundance. The PtL method is believed to<br />

have the highest potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions<br />

of all SAF methods, nearing 100%. But a proof of concept is not realistic<br />

until the late 2020s, and much effort will have to go in industrializing<br />

and scaling the production.<br />


When talking about SAF, it is essential to understand the volumes. In<br />

the early 2020s, the world’s production of SAF was 0.2 million tons, in<br />

other words, less than 0.1% of the consumed fuel. Experts think we<br />

could reach a share of up to 8% by 2030 if properly talked about and<br />

if planned investments are being made. HEFA will dominate SAF production<br />

past 2030, but then other methods should catch up. It depends<br />

on the cost of production, with Power-to-Liquid having the<br />

largest potential, but also the biggest insecurities when it comes to its<br />

industrialization. To scale SAF production as rapidly as needed,<br />

governments must introduce incentives for investing in production<br />

facilities. Increasing quotas of SAF percentages would create such an<br />

environment.<br />

32<br />

3. Gasification and Fischer-Tropsch is the biomass but, more<br />

importantly, the waste-based pathway. Here, carbon monoxide<br />

and hydrogen are gasified from the feedstock and then converted<br />

further into synthetic fuels. This happens in a chemical process<br />

called Fischer- Tropsch, named after the two German researchers<br />

who developed it in the 1920s. It is still in the commercial pilot<br />

phase and will have little importance until 2030.<br />

4. SAF can be used as a drop-in replacement<br />

for current fossil fuels.<br />

This way, existing engines don’t require<br />

modification.<br />

5. Producing more SAF and blending it<br />

into the existing fuels is an applica-<br />

33<br />

ble measure that can be easily supported<br />

by any government or regulators<br />

worldwide.<br />

WHY IS SAF<br />








The five cornerstones for implementing SAF.<br />












Historically, the aviation industry has yet to be<br />

successful in speaking with one voice. Despite<br />

institutions like IATA, different stakeholders have<br />

focused primarily on their own agendas. For a<br />

real uptick in decarbonization efforts, we must<br />

create a more open and hands-on mentality<br />

where airlines, airports, fuel providers and manufacturers<br />

work together closely and visibly for<br />

the same goal globally.<br />



Today, SAF production costs two to four times<br />

as much as conventional fuel. Government support<br />

and incentives will be required until the industry<br />

matures and production costs drop. The<br />

same goes for an emission tax – a step that airlines<br />

and airports cannot address on the free<br />

market without losing all competitiveness. Within<br />

Europe, it is an issue that needs to be discussed<br />

on the transnational level to generate<br />

an impact. On the production side, moving forward,<br />

the major challenge is mobilizing investments<br />

to develop multiple new large-scale facilities<br />

to increase SAF production so that<br />

additional demand can be met and production<br />

costs are reduced.<br />

PUBLIC<br />


So far, aviation has failed to include the broad<br />

public in its strategies to make flying “greener.”<br />

As an industry, we need to become better at<br />

making people aware of the fact that we are<br />

working hard on decarbonizing flight and that<br />

even today, passengers can already play an active<br />

role in decreasing their carbon footprint<br />

when they fly. The implementation of information<br />

on CO 2 emissions in the Google Flights<br />

search is an excellent example. Airlines adding a<br />

“Green” option or class in the booking procedure<br />

is another example of how we can upsell<br />

an SAF or offset option already in the booking<br />

process, just like you can add luggage. If they fly<br />

a GTF-equipped aircraft or CO 2 -efficient turboprop<br />

on a particular route, why don’t they also<br />

advertise this in the booking process?<br />

Unveiling aviation sustainability: debunking myths,<br />

challenging greenwashing and highlighting<br />

strides to a net-zero future: Sustainable Aero Lab’s<br />

net-zero newsletter discusses the performance<br />

of airlines in the sustainability space. Register now<br />

on LinkedIn!<br />



Aside from longer-term technologies like hydrogen,<br />

more R&D has to be directed toward lowering<br />

the production costs of SAF and ways to<br />

scale production efficiently. It is the most effective<br />

solution for the next 20 years, and research<br />

activity and funding should reflect this. In these<br />

areas, there is still much potential to be unlocked<br />

within the next two decades.<br />

34 35<br />



An unclear regulatory situation is one of the reasons<br />

why investment into SAF is still relatively<br />

slow. In short: in many cases, we just don’t know<br />

which kind of SAF and which type of production<br />

method will qualify for a “sustainable” label by<br />

authorities and regulators. This “limbo” situation<br />

slows innovation and must be solved quickly. A<br />

global certificate and framework system is required<br />

NOW to avoid spending billions on technical<br />

research and production plants without<br />

achieving the promised global impact in the required<br />

timeframe. Capital will only be available<br />

for technologies with the stamp of approval to<br />

yield future benefits.

HAW<br />


H 2 - POWERED<br />



Liquid hydrogen tanks on<br />

new upper deck, powering<br />

new hydrogen engines.<br />



With this new approach, individual research team<br />

members can independently build and refine<br />

partial models of the aircraft powertrain, the tank<br />

system, the aircraft cabin and other important<br />

aircraft systems, using different modeling software<br />

tools. Subsystem architecture and logical<br />

behavior are defined in Cameo Systems<br />

Modeler with the systems modeling language<br />

SysML®. MATLAB is used to model physical behavior,<br />

and CATIA V5 for three-dimensional geometry<br />

representation, mass properties and other<br />

mechanical design aspects. An XML adapter<br />

file serves as an adaptable interface between all<br />

these models. It permits the parameter exchange<br />

between the partial models and is used for requirements<br />

verification. The new approach to the<br />

model-based exploration of future aircraft system<br />

configurations has two major advantages:<br />

The reduction of CO 2 -emissions in civil aviation<br />

by using hydrogen as an energy carrier<br />

is currently being explored by many organizations.<br />

Compared to kerosene, the gravimetric<br />

energy density of hydrogen is<br />

2.5 times higher, and its use in power systems<br />

does not release CO 2 or NO X . However,<br />

this promising energy carrier comes with<br />

many technological challenges.<br />

If hydrogen shall be used to power large passenger<br />

aircraft during medium- or long-range flights,<br />

solutions for integrating hydrogen tanks into the<br />

aircraft are needed. Even in the liquid state<br />

(around -253 °C), hydrogen has a low volumetric<br />

energy density. To provide the same amount of<br />

chemical energy as kerosene, cryogenic hydrogen<br />

tanks occupy about four times the space<br />

and are therefore unlikely to fit into aircraft<br />

wings (where kerosene tanks are located). The<br />

integration of liquid hydrogen tanks into the fuselage<br />

reduces the available space for cabin and<br />

the cargo compartments.<br />



To support the investigation of future aircraft<br />

layouts, researchers from HAW Hamburg, DLR<br />

Institute of System Architectures in Aeronautics<br />

and Centerline Design GmbH initiated the research<br />

project “MIWa” (Model-based Integration<br />

and Variation of Liquid Hydrogen Tank Systems<br />

in Future Aircraft), funded by IFB Hamburg. The<br />

project goal is to develop new model-based<br />

approaches for assessing the impact of liquid<br />

hydrogen tank integration on the fulfillment of<br />

aircraft top-level requirements. Since the beginning<br />

of the two-year project in July 2022, the research<br />

team has regularly convened at the <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

TechCenter for workshops and project meetings.<br />

Project work started with the selection of suitable<br />

modeling software systems and the development<br />

of a novel modeling strategy in which parameterized<br />

partial models were interconnected to create<br />

a federated system model (instead of using a<br />

dedicated monolithic system model). For each<br />

relevant subsystem, a partial model described<br />

the composition, important characteristics and<br />

the behavior. A robust and easy-to-use method<br />

for interconnecting these partial models was<br />

then defined to account for the interrelations between<br />

the subsystems. An important goal of this<br />

modeling strategy is the interchangeability of<br />

partial models to represent different aircraft architectures<br />

and assess their suitability.<br />

1. The aggregation of partial models created<br />

with different software systems is very versatile.<br />

The partial models are flexible building<br />

blocks in a modular system model which can<br />

be developed independently by different<br />

modeling experts and are easy to adjust, reuse<br />

or replace.<br />

36 37<br />

Liquid hydrogen tank and fuel<br />

cell system replace the auxiliary<br />

power unit (APU).<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />

Liquid hydrogen tank<br />

and fuel cell system in<br />

rear fuselage powering<br />

electric fans.<br />

Find out more<br />

about the project.<br />

2. Thanks to an adaptable, intuitive graphical<br />

user interface, model users do not require<br />

specific training for sophisticated modeling<br />

tools and can reconfigure the aircraft model<br />

to explore various configurations from a systems<br />

perspective at a very early stage of the<br />

development project. Without this approach,<br />

dedicated models would need to be developed<br />

from scratch for every new aircraft configuration<br />

to be investigated, expensive commercial<br />

adapter software would be required<br />

to connect different model types (system<br />

models, mathematical models, geometrical<br />

models, etc.) and model users would need<br />

expert training in various modeling tools.<br />


Prof. Dr. Jutta Abulawi<br />


<strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH<br />


L(H 2 )-POWERED<br />

DRONES<br />

For some time now, the field of "hydrogenpowered<br />

drones" has been part of the applied<br />

research carried out at <strong>ZAL</strong>. Drones are of interest<br />

for research purposes because they offer<br />

valuable insights into handling airborne hydrogen<br />

when employed as flying testbeds. In addition,<br />

hydrogen-powered drones have a justification<br />

of their own. The reason for this is longer<br />

flight times and higher payload capacities. The<br />

applications for long-duration flying drones<br />

range from wind turbine inspections, forest fire<br />

monitoring to medical logistics for hospitals,<br />

deliveries to crisis areas and much more.<br />

But how long until these scenarios unfold in<br />

daily life? What are the challenges to face?<br />

And where does research at <strong>ZAL</strong> currently<br />

stand? Dr. Holger Kuhn, hydrogen<br />

expert at <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH, sheds light<br />

on these matters.<br />

Dr. Holger Kuhn, hydrogen expert<br />

at <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH.<br />

“Since various <strong>ZAL</strong> partners demand<br />

LH 2 for research purposes, the<br />

provision of a liquefier is currently<br />

in planning. With it, we avoid the<br />

challenges entailed in storing LH 2 .”<br />

Dr. Holger Kuhn, hydrogen expert at <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH<br />


Dr. Holger Kuhn<br />

holger.kuhn@zal.aero<br />

38 39<br />

Opportunities in disguise<br />

“A hydrogen storage tank must meet very specific requirements. Gaseous hydrogen<br />

(H 2 ) primarily requires a stable tank capable of withstanding high pressures. For instance,<br />

our pressure vessels contain compressed hydrogen to approximately 300 bar for a<br />

two-hour test flight. Liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ), on the other hand, must be stored at temperatures<br />

below -253 °C, to be precise. There are solutions for both hydrogen storage options, but the<br />

application and the tank design determines the best choice.”<br />

“Flying with LH 2 means we always face boil-off losses. No matter how good the<br />

insulation of the tank, LH 2 warms up, and some of it becomes gaseous. As a result, the pressure<br />

in the tank increases. On the one hand, automatic valves and emergency relief points ensure<br />

controlled hydrogen release. On the other hand, we utilize the boil-off effect for operation<br />

as the fuel cell requires the hydrogen to be gaseous.”<br />

“The provision of hydrogen for flight operations poses a challenge. While H 2 for<br />

research can be easily purchased in gas cylinders or is stored in our huge H 2 tank at <strong>ZAL</strong> Tech-<br />

Center, LH 2 is provided by a special tanker trailer, which comes with a minimum quantity of three<br />

to four tonsof LH 2 . The quantity needed for drone operations, however, is about 900 g for ten<br />

hours of flight time.”<br />



Funded research project*<br />


Conversion and operation<br />

of a drone with liquid<br />

hydrogen<br />


Liquid hydrogen<br />

Read more about the<br />

project LiquiDrone.<br />

Watch the Liquidrone<br />

in flight now.<br />


Research partnership of<br />

Wingcopter and <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH<br />

TASK<br />

Integration of a fuel cell into the<br />

existing ecosystem of a delivery drone,<br />

thereby doubling the flight time<br />


Gaseous hydrogen<br />

More details about<br />

our partnership with<br />

Wingcopter.<br />

Watch the video of<br />

the maiden flight now.<br />

*The LiquiDrone project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV). The four research partners (RST Rostock-System Technik<br />

GmbH, BaltiCo GmbH, University of Rostock – Chair of Engineering Mechanics/Dynamics, and <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH) started their research in June 2022.

TECCON<br />




Find out more<br />

about H2 FINITY.<br />

practical problems like refueling and maintenance<br />

– the list goes on and on. This means that<br />

H2 FINITY will be delivering one of the first complete<br />

power packages for environmentally<br />

friendly aircraft propulsion and thus be a small<br />

but encouraging trendsetter for a new era – a<br />

forerunner of better, greener and more sustainable<br />

aviation.<br />

breakthrough in technology. Correspondingly<br />

slow and difficult is the introduction of new technologies,<br />

especially for important, safety-relevant<br />

components like the engine. H2 FINITY aims<br />

to take the first hurdle: providing an emission-free<br />

hydrogen powerplant that could be<br />

scaled up for an aircraft of the 120 kg class – a<br />

new class of ultralight air vehicles.<br />

More about REALISE, a<br />

mobile runway system.<br />

The future is emission-free and silent: visualization of a H2 FINITY powered drone for early wildfire detection.<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />


Jörg Manthey<br />

joerg.manthey@h2finity.de<br />

Research into hydrogen-powered drones<br />

has experienced a major upswing in recent<br />

years. One of the main reasons is the<br />

search for more environmentally friendly<br />

alternatives to conventional drone propulsion<br />

systems. Drones powered by hydrogen<br />

could help to reduce air and noise pollution.<br />

Hydrogen also offers a high energy<br />

density, which can lead to longer flight<br />

times and greater ranges.<br />

With H2 FINITY, we are looking into developing a<br />

scalable powertrain for small aerial vehicles with<br />

a take-off mass between 25 kg and 250 kg. This<br />

does not only include most civil unmanned flight<br />

vehicles – a market sector that is expected to see<br />

an enormous boost in the coming years – but<br />

also the new 120 kg class of manned aircraft.<br />


H2 FINITY was launched to address the main<br />

challenge of a hybrid-electric powertrain for<br />

small aircraft: combining cutting-edge components<br />

to a mature, scalable propulsion system<br />

that can be used in real-world applications.<br />

What sounds rather mundane in theory proves<br />

to be a challenging undertaking: understanding<br />

the transverse interactions between the components,<br />

optimizing the overall system, integrating<br />

it into the vehicle, ensuring reliable operation<br />

under all conditions, safe handling of gaseous or<br />

liquid hydrogen, certification aspects, solving<br />


But what products actually benefit from an H2<br />

FINITY system? In our research we address two<br />

possible applications. The first is a novel approach<br />

to prevent and reduce the damage of<br />

wildfires, which are an increasing problem in<br />

Germany, Europe and worldwide. Two H2 FINITY<br />

partners are developing a solution for the early<br />

detection of wildfires in remote, sparsely populated<br />

areas: spotting drones, operating autonomously<br />

from a fully automated launch/landing<br />

system (REALISE) and reporting suspicious signs<br />

such as smoke columns to a mission control<br />

center, which then investigates closer and, in<br />

case of a fire, alerts the emergency forces. The<br />

drones must have a reliable useful flight time of<br />

more than four hours and turn-around time<br />

must be less than 15 minutes. Regulations also<br />

require that the drones must fly rather low, they<br />

must operate in a range between 100 and 120 m<br />

above terrain. Drones with combustion engines<br />

have the flight performance, but are a noise disturbance<br />

at that altitude. Battery-powered<br />

drones are nearly inaudible, but are still far from<br />

achieving the required flight time under realworld<br />

conditions. Hybrid-electric air vehicles<br />

have the potential to combine the best of both<br />

worlds: good performance and low noise.<br />

Furthermore, the H2 FINITY system can be used<br />

for recreational aviation, which is why we are<br />

embarking into the territory of manned flight –<br />

and of strict regulation and certification. As important<br />

as these are for the safety of all concerned,<br />

they represent a big obstacle for any<br />


Following the design of the hybrid-electric drive<br />

for a drone in the 25 kg class, the next step will<br />

be to design the powertrain for an aircraft in the<br />

120 kg class as well as the 250 kg class to gain<br />

insights for further scalability and thus open up<br />

further areas of application.<br />

40 41<br />


H2 FINITY demonstrates that even small companies<br />

can team up and create innovation together.<br />


H2 FINITY is part of the initiative GATE (Green<br />

Aviation Technologies). The project is supported<br />

by funds of the city of Hamburg, administered by<br />

IFB Hamburg.<br />

Corsair of JH Aircraft: the new 120 kg class of microlight aircraft opens up possibilities<br />

for testing novel technologies quickly and with limited administrative burden.

DLR TT<br />







The DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics<br />

is actively involved in the exploration of fuel<br />

cell propulsion concepts for aviation applications<br />

at the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter through its Departement<br />

of Energy System Integration. By combining<br />

experimental characterizations of fuel cell<br />

systems and components with advanced<br />

numerical methods, we at the DLR Institute of<br />

Engineering Thermodynamics are able to carry<br />

out funded projects such as BETA and SKAiB –<br />

underlining the Institute’s commitment to innovative<br />

developments in the field of aviation technology.<br />

DLR – GOALS<br />

The SKAiB consortium involves significant participation<br />

from the German Aerospace Center<br />

(DLR), which focuses on specific technological<br />

aspects. DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics<br />

is contributing to the investigation of dynamic<br />

effects in multi-stack fuel cell systems and<br />

is developing an automation approach for the<br />

successful application of multi-stack fuel cell<br />

systems in aviation. This sub-project focus on<br />

simulation-based validation, system scalability<br />

and airworthiness to ensure that SKAiB meets<br />

the requirements for the commercial use of fuel<br />

cell technology in commercial aircraft.<br />

and novel control concepts as well as the evaluation<br />

of the associated risks without major consequences.<br />

The design and engineering of these concepts<br />

by the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics<br />

is based on models developed by<br />

TLK-Thermo GmbH and TU Braunschweig, enabling<br />

qualified validation in collaboration with<br />

the partners.<br />



The BETA project, as part of the National Innovation<br />

Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology<br />

(NIP II), aims to revolutionize shaft power<br />

generation in aviation by seamlessly integrating<br />

electrical energy from fuel cells with motor windings<br />

(“H 2 -to-Torque”). In collaboration with Airbus<br />

Operations GmbH, <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH, and Helmut<br />

Schmidt University, we focus on reducing CO 2<br />

emissions in aviation through hydrogen propulsion<br />

technologies.<br />

5. Preventing system degradation: experiments<br />

help identify and mitigate conditions that<br />

could degrade the fuel cell, optimizing procedures<br />

for performance recovery and optimized<br />

freeze starts for quick and safe system<br />

start-up.<br />

By addressing these aspects, the BETA project<br />

contributes to advancing reliability and efficiency<br />

of fuel cell technology in aviation.<br />

See the imprint (p. 76) for a selection of publications<br />

in BETA.<br />

Development of solutions<br />

for the reliable and safe<br />

operation of hydrogen /<br />

fuel cell technology in<br />

the powertrains of future<br />

aircraft.<br />

42 43<br />



The Scalable Fuel Cell Systems for Electric Propulsion<br />

(SKAiB) project is a groundbreaking initiative<br />

under the aviation research program<br />

LuFo VI-2 of the Federal Ministry for Economic<br />

Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). Led by Airbus<br />

Operations GmbH, the project aims to scale existing<br />

technology for low-emission electric propulsion<br />

systems based on fuel cells into the<br />

megawatt range for usage in commercial aircraft.<br />

The timeline for this project is from 2022 to 2026.<br />

The primary objective is to develop flight-capable<br />

systems in the megawatt range, contributing significantly<br />

to environmentally friendly aviation. Key<br />

technological goals include:<br />

• Scaling system power to the megawatt range<br />


Within the framework of the SKAiB project, we at<br />

the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics<br />

collaborate with TLK-Thermo GmbH and TU<br />

Braunschweig to investigate scaled fuel cell systems<br />

through simulations.<br />

We are developing a testing rig for a proprietary<br />

multi-stack fuel cell system with short stacks<br />

(5 to 20 cells; up to 6 kW/stack). Measurements<br />

characterize the components, subsystems and<br />

dynamics of the system. The testing setup supports<br />

the verification and validation of simulation<br />

models from TLK-Thermo GmbH and TU<br />

Braunschweig, contributing to insights into new<br />

systems and facilitating cost-effective examination<br />

of critical operating conditions and innovative<br />

control concepts.<br />


1. Innovative Integration: In BETA, the H 2 -to-<br />

Torque principle is developed further to reduce<br />

system complexity, enhance redundancy,<br />

and improve reliability.<br />

2. Testing and validation: DLR conducts comprehensive<br />

testing of fuel cell components under<br />

varied operating conditions, including freeze<br />

start performance, to optimize fuel cell systems<br />

for safe and durable usage in aircraft<br />

applications.<br />

3. Simulation for optimization: simulation models<br />

predict system behavior, allowing optimization<br />

before extensive experimental tests,<br />

identifying operational strategies and also<br />

addressing integration aspects.<br />

Customizable and expandable test facility for fuel cell short-stack<br />

and fuel cell system investigations.<br />


Dr. Christoph Gentner<br />

christoph.gentner@dlr.de<br />

• Ensuring airworthiness of components and<br />

system control<br />

• Conducting simulation-based validation for<br />

the system<br />

Our multi-stack fuel cell system’s smaller power<br />

class is more flexible to operate and allows for<br />

agile testing of subsystems. This enables the investigation<br />

of critical operating conditions (e.g.<br />

dynamic pressure and temperature changes)<br />

4. Direct insight into fuel cell behavior: a segmented<br />

measuring plate provide direct insight<br />

into fuel cell behavior under different<br />

conditions, enabling targeted optimization<br />

for increased system longevity.<br />

Fuel cell short-stack testbed.







LuFo Klima, the federal aviation research<br />

program, plays a decisive role for Hamburg as<br />

an aviation location. This program, supported<br />

by the Federal Ministry of Economics<br />

and Climate Protection ( BMWK), promotes<br />

research and technology projects in civil<br />

aviation. In the Hamburg region, the LuFo<br />

program makes an important contribution<br />

to promoting the regional aviation industry<br />

and helps to drive innovation and shape<br />

the future of aviation in a sustainable way.<br />



The Hamburg region is known as a hub for the<br />

aviation industry. This is where aviation issues<br />

of the future are shaped, molded and driven<br />

forward. This is precisely where LuFo Klima<br />

comes in.<br />

The Hamburg region is of central importance<br />

for the aviation research program. In recent<br />

years, just under 15 to 20 percent of the funding<br />

from the program has regularly gone to<br />

companies, universities or major research institutions<br />

in Hamburg. This region is home to numerous<br />

important players in aviation technology<br />

research, particularly in the field of complete<br />

systems and hydrogen propulsion. Furthermore,<br />

the Center for Applied Aviation Research<br />

(<strong>ZAL</strong>), in combination with funding from LuFo<br />

Klima, has enabled numerous SMEs and startups<br />

to take the step into aviation research.<br />

44 45<br />

Guest article by Jan Bode,<br />

Head of Project Management<br />

Agency for Aviation Research.<br />


In the period from 2014 to the beginning of<br />

<strong>2024</strong>, 400 projects were funded by LuFo Klima<br />

in Hamburg to strengthen the northern German<br />

location as an innovation center for aviation.<br />

1. Jobs and economic stimulus: Hamburg is<br />

home to some of the largest aviation companies<br />

in the world – from Airbus to<br />

Lufthansa Technik. The LuFo Klima funding<br />

program flows directly into the veins of<br />

these companies and creates jobs, promotes<br />

research cooperation and strengthens<br />

competitiveness. The most important<br />

strategic goal of the LuFo program in the<br />

Hamburg region, in relation to the major<br />

employers Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, is<br />

to make all existing process chains for Airbus<br />

aircraft more efficient and to adapt<br />

them specifically to future aircraft. The focus<br />

is also on innovative and efficient maintenance,<br />

repair and overhaul processes.<br />

This is the only way to keep current construction<br />

shares at the German site and<br />

also to locate future construction shares,<br />

e.g. for a ZERO-emission aircraft. This is to<br />

be achieved in particular by gradually increasing<br />

the degree of automation in development<br />

and production process chains,<br />

also using artificial intelligence methods.<br />

Through these research advances in aviation<br />

production, Hamburg’s aviation industry<br />

is having a significant influence on the<br />

progress of innovation in Germany.<br />

2. Sustainable aviation: Hamburg has set itself<br />

the goal of being a pioneer in sustainable<br />

aviation. The LuFo Klima supports<br />

projects that develop more environmentally<br />

friendly aircraft and propulsion systems.<br />

From quieter engines to alternative fuels –<br />

aviation research in Hamburg is helping to<br />

make the skies cleaner. The strategic goal is<br />

to make aviation, and especially aircraft<br />

production, significantly more sustainable<br />

in the future. This goal largely competes<br />

with the efficiency goal. For this reason, research<br />

is being carried out in the Hamburg<br />

region in particular to significantly improve<br />

material and resource efficiency in aircraft<br />

production in order to ultimately achieve a<br />

sustainable aviation industry.<br />

3. The aviation center Hamburg is a hotspot<br />

for digital technologies. LuFo Klima invests<br />

in research, digitalization and automation<br />

in aviation. From smart maintenance<br />

systems to data-driven flight<br />

guidance systems – aviation research is an<br />

active driving force for a digital future.<br />

Find out more about<br />

LuFo Klima and the<br />

Project Management<br />

Agency for Aviation<br />

Research (PT-LF).



A flight through<br />

the projects<br />

The LuFo Klima covers a wide range<br />

of topics in the Hamburg region.<br />


• Innovative design of ultra-high efficiency<br />

laminar wings for future aircraft<br />

• Verification of multifunctional control<br />

surfaces for trailing edges of upstretched<br />

wings<br />

• Development of a climate-optimized<br />

aircraft with upstretched and multifunctional<br />

wings<br />

Sign in for the PT-LF newsletter in<br />

the Aviation Research Network.<br />


• Analysis of future connectivity solutions for<br />

broadband communication in aviation<br />

Projektträger<br />

Luftfahrtforschung<br />

As the Project Management Agency for<br />

Aviation Research, the Projektträger Luftfahrtforschung<br />

(PT-LF) organizes and manages<br />

the funding of projects for climateneutral<br />

aviation for several ministries at<br />

federal and state level.<br />

Regarding LuFo Klima, the PT-LF provides<br />

support for the Federal Ministry of Economics<br />

and Climate Protection (BMWK) in<br />

implementing the funding program. During<br />

the complete funding process, the PT-LF is<br />

the main contact point for everyone interested<br />

in participating at LuFo Klima.<br />



• Digitalization of the entire product life cycle<br />

and thus all process chains and the design<br />

process to further increase efficiency<br />

(digital twin, use of AI and machine learning<br />

for data evaluation, standardized data<br />

management, cyber security)<br />


• New aircraft configurations (specification,<br />

design, verification and validation of the<br />

necessary structural modifications and<br />

installation concepts)<br />

• New concepts for energy storage and<br />

distribution with aviation-compatible<br />

power electronics, power distribution and<br />

control systems<br />

• Development of performance-optimized<br />

and autonomy-capable door systems for<br />

the future development of new commercial<br />

aircraft<br />

46 47<br />

• Data platform for climate-neutral flying<br />


CONCLUSION: HAMBURG AND <strong>ZAL</strong> HAVE<br />



The LuFo Klima funding program combines<br />

proven aviation technology with innovation,<br />

creates prospects and paves the way for climate-neutral<br />

aviation. When we look back on<br />

aviation development in a few years’ time, we<br />

will be able to appreciate the results of research<br />

in the Hamburg region, which were<br />

shaped by LuFo Klima and played a key role in<br />

determining the future of flying.<br />

• Development of construction methods and<br />

manufacturing and assembly technologies<br />

for future aircraft (metallic and composite<br />

fuselage structures)<br />

• Development of virtual test methods<br />

through to large-scale structural fatigue<br />

testing in order to shorten the development<br />

and approval process<br />

• Development of innovative and efficient<br />

maintenance, repair and overhaul processes<br />

• Fuel cell technologies up to 1.2 MW incl.<br />

thermal management<br />

400<br />

projects have been funded<br />

by LuFo Klima in Hamburg<br />

within ten years<br />

• Investigation and development of alternative<br />

solutions with regard to sustainable onboard<br />

services and fossil-free, self-sufficient<br />

energy supply in the aircraft cabin<br />

• Additive manufacturing of integrated and<br />

sustainable brackets for aircraft cabin<br />

components<br />

• Optimization of cabin and freight through<br />

weight-efficient cabin systems and recycling<br />

of components under the paradigm of<br />

time-efficient technology introduction<br />

As successful as Hamburg currently is as a<br />

driving force of aviation, it is just as important<br />

to maintain these tools to support research in<br />

the future and to always think at least one step<br />

beyond what is currently being researched. For<br />

this reason, the federal government has set itself<br />

the goal with the aviation research program<br />

of networking researchers both regionally<br />

and nationally in the long term via the<br />

aviation research network, developing joint<br />

solutions for the aviation of the future through<br />

targeted workshops and securing the future of<br />

aviation research, especially in Hamburg,<br />

through the stability and reliability of the LuFo<br />

Klima funding program.

<strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH<br />





Interested in details? Discover the<br />

virtual animation of the table by<br />

Industrial Design Studio Hamburg.<br />

What will the cabin components of the future look like?<br />

In the research project LiBio (Lightweight Bionic Aircraft<br />

Interior), an international consortium, with ten<br />

partners from Germany, Austria and Canada, delved<br />

into this exact question. Its goal: the development of a<br />

pioneering and functional cabin component.<br />

The international partners took on this challenge and developed<br />

an innovative table, serving as a use case of future cabin<br />

interiors: a perfect blend of functional design and latest<br />

manufacturing methods, including robot-guided additive<br />

manufacturing (see p. 54 for further details).<br />

48 49<br />


Dr. Jan-Ole Kühn<br />

jan-ole.kuehn@zal.aero<br />


• 3D-printed with lacquered real eucalyptus wood veneer<br />

• Integrated video screen for an enhanced in-flight experience<br />

• Built-in speaker (3D-printed membrane)<br />

• Wireless charging zone for smartphones<br />

• Ambient lighting with integrated LED strips<br />

The 3D visualization by IDS Hamburg<br />

unveils the hidden complexity of the<br />

built prototype’s interior.<br />

Flexible: the table remains<br />

completely foldable and<br />

seamlessly disappears into<br />

the cabin’s sidewall.<br />

Project completion in Montreal:<br />

the happy consortium presenting<br />

an ingenious prototype.



Test spheres used for development and demonstration<br />

purposes with measuring equipment.<br />









In today’s maintenance processes, one needs to<br />

open the pressurized fire extinguisher container<br />

and discharge the agent on a regular basis,<br />

which requires great effort. Although there are<br />

measures to reduce agent emissions, industrial<br />

processes of handling and recycling are inevitably<br />

connected to losses and thus emissions into<br />

the atmosphere. The Hydrostatic Test (HST),<br />

which uses pressurized water to test container<br />

structures, is part of the process and evolved already<br />

in the 1950s. Overall, the current process<br />

is lengthy, and resource-intensive.<br />

50 51<br />

Prototype of test bed used for evaluation activities.<br />

Find out more<br />

about Aviasonic.<br />

Aviasonic is a <strong>ZAL</strong>-based hardtech startup<br />

that focuses on measurement and test<br />

technologies for efficient and more environmentally<br />

friendly aviation and energy. The<br />

ambition is to enable innovative solutions<br />

by closing the gap between research, basic<br />

technology and industrial application. Aviasonic<br />

combines innovative processes and<br />

sophisticated hardware components to create<br />

systems that foster efficient and sustainable<br />

production for the industry.<br />

For most people unnoticed, aviation industry is<br />

still relies on fire extinguishing agents like the<br />

harmful greenhouse gas Halon 1301. Developing<br />

more environmentally friendly solutions is in<br />

process, but it will take a long time before these<br />

are implemented in the world’s fleet.<br />

What actions can we take in the meantime? We<br />

should strive to minimize the emissions of the<br />

ex tinguishing agent as much as possible. For<br />

this reason, we have to consider that emissions,<br />

aside from fire-suppression actions on board of<br />

aircrafts, are caused to a major extent by the<br />

MRO process of fire extinguishers – a circumstance<br />

representing a key aspect of the SAFE<br />

MRO project.<br />



Most aircraft fire extinguishers contain extinguishing<br />

agents that are potent greenhouse<br />

gases and ozone-depleting substances. But not<br />

enough – increasing maintenance costs and obsolescence<br />

risks of Halon 1301 are pain points<br />

for the aviation industry, too.<br />



The goal of the SAFE MRO project is to implement<br />

a process that allows keeping the fire extinguishers<br />

closed during the entire MRO process<br />

and therefore have no agent emissions<br />

involved in the process at all.<br />

One key for the innovative MRO process is the<br />

Acoustic Emission (AE) technology, a non-destructive<br />

testing (NDT) method that detects<br />

acoustic waves emitted when the load is applied<br />

to a structure. Detecting and analyzing the<br />

waves allows an evaulation of the structure and<br />

the option of finding possible flaws. Basically, it<br />

can be described as listening to what the material<br />

tells you when the load is applied.<br />

An advanced system of its kind is currently being<br />

built at the <strong>ZAL</strong>. It sets new standards in terms<br />

of efficiency, working safety and ergonomics.<br />

The heart of the system is the multi-channel AE<br />

measurement system connected to the sensors<br />

that are placed on the surface of the fire extinguisher,<br />

detecting the acoustic waves. An innovative<br />

system software is being developed that<br />

guides the user through the process, making it<br />

as easy and efficient as possible. Considering<br />

that many aircraft fire extinguishers are heavy,<br />

the setup is designed to allow ergonomic and<br />

safe handling of them.<br />



With hydrogen-powered aircraft, further applications<br />

arise for AE technology in the fields of<br />

the hydrogen system and leaking monitoring as<br />

well as maintenance to support a more environmentally<br />

friendly and sustainable aviation.<br />

The project is supported by funds of the IFB<br />

Hamburg.<br />


Aviasonic GmbH<br />





THE WAY TO<br />


“jetlite’s cabin lighting guides the individual<br />

inner clock to adapt to new time zones more<br />

effectively by supporting melatonin levels and<br />

sleep through scientifically proven customized<br />

light settings. This can reduce jet lag by up to<br />

three hours.”<br />

Dr. Achim Leder, Managing Partner<br />

52 53<br />

Finnair has equipped its newest long-haul cabin with jetlite Cabin One.<br />

Listen to the audio<br />

version of this text.<br />


Dr. Achim Leder<br />

achim.leder@jetlite.de<br />

Over 60 percent of long-haul passengers suffer<br />

from jet lag, a disruption of the circadian<br />

rhythm (inner clock), which leads to fatigue,<br />

exhaustion and a negative passenger<br />

experience. Light exposure and circadian<br />

rhythms are key factors in the development<br />

of jet lag. Hence, jetlite has developed<br />

the world’s first jet lag-reducing cabin<br />

lighting based on extensive research.<br />

Light is the most important time giver of the human’s<br />

inner clock. The body’s hormonal reaction<br />

to wavelengths and intensities of light is what<br />

regulates our circadian rhythm. Especially melatonin,<br />

the sleep hormone, plays a key role. jetlite’s<br />

lighting technology guides the individual<br />

inner clock to adapt to a new time zone more<br />

effectively by supporting melatonin production<br />

with customized lighting settings. Warm light,<br />

with a high level of red color, is used for relaxation,<br />

while cooler light, with a high level of blue<br />

color, supports activation by decreasing the<br />

sleeping hormone melatonin (melatonin suppression).<br />

jetlite’s lighting technology always<br />

consists of several customized scientifically<br />

proven scenarios. Based on millions of data<br />

points, the lighting adapts to each customer’s<br />

needs, which are dependent e.g. on flight routes,<br />

time zones and cabin interior. This helps the<br />

passengers’ inner clocks to adjust more efficiently<br />

to the new time zone and reduces jet lag<br />

by up to three hours.<br />

Today, jetlite presents three cutting-edge products<br />

within the aviation industry. jetlite Cabin<br />

One is designed for airlines and VIP aircraft. It<br />

aims to reduce jet lag through customized lighting<br />

scenarios, implemented via a four-step approach.<br />

Leading airlines like Lufthansa, Finnair,<br />

Vistara and Swiss have adopted jetlite Cabin<br />

One in their services. jetlite Cabin X caters to<br />

business jets and first-class suites, offering automatized<br />

and personalized lighting settings<br />

controlled through the jetlite-app. Over and beyond,<br />

jetlite inside involves collaboration with<br />

Tier 1 suppliers to integrate jetlite’s lighting<br />

technology and knowledge into various aircraft<br />

components, such as seats, galleys, etc.<br />

In its journey of innovation, jetlite leveraged<br />

working at <strong>ZAL</strong> to collaborate with industry leaders<br />

such as Airbus, Boeing, Safran and Recaro.<br />

Additionally, jetlite engages in various research<br />

projects to further advance its technology. This<br />

includes leading the BMDV (Federal Ministry for<br />

Digital and Transport)-funded project “Chronolite.”<br />

The project aims to connect lighting solutions<br />

across different transportation modes. The<br />

consortium consists of companies like Hella,<br />

Charité and Lufthansa Technik.<br />

jetlite Cabin One: different llighting scenarios produced by jetlite.<br />

jetlite Cabin X offers personalized lighting settings<br />

via the jetlite-app in business jets and suites.

<strong>ZAL</strong> GMBH<br />




WHAT’S NEXT?<br />

3D printing has transitioned from its experimental status<br />

to a dependable manufacturing solution. Robot- guided<br />

Additive Manufacturing (RAM) emerges as one of the nextgen<br />

methods for meeting aviation’s specific needs for large<br />

parts, high quality and innovative designs. Here are four<br />

areas in which RAM is set to make a substantial impact.<br />

Less components,<br />

more options<br />

In aircraft cabins, limitations exist regarding available<br />

space and weight. RAM addresses these constraints by<br />

merging components and functions into one piece, at the<br />

same time enabling direct printing onto any surface.<br />

Smarter,<br />

customized Interiors<br />

Even round surfaces can<br />

be directly printed on.<br />

No additional brackets<br />

needed (wastewater<br />

tank project HuTAb).<br />

More about HuTAb.<br />

Four functions integrated<br />

in one table:<br />

infotainment system,<br />

speaker, ambient lighting,<br />

charging zone.<br />

54<br />

RAM enables an almost limitless variety of potential cabin<br />

products. For example, a simple cabin table can be transformed<br />

into an elegant multimedia station. RAM provides<br />

the framework for the table, which can be easily adapted<br />

to any cabin design (project LiBio).<br />

55<br />

What is RAM?<br />

Industrial robots are converted to fully automated<br />

printing systems. Multiple robots can<br />

simultaneously work on a single part, using<br />

different materials or tools.<br />

Bold cabin designs<br />

RAM can even carry out challenging, organically curved geometries,<br />

perfectly suited for aircraft fuselages. The <strong>ZAL</strong><br />

Additive Manufacturing team created a fully 3D-printed<br />

cabin mockup to showcase these abilities (design by iDS).<br />

At the same time, the demonstrator serves as a presentation<br />

area for the innovative table from the LiBio project.<br />

More about LiBio.<br />

A futuristic cabin sidewall<br />

mockup (entirely<br />

3D-printed, height 2 m),<br />

with sophisticated design<br />

elements.<br />

More about RAM.<br />

Sustainable materials<br />

By utilizing recycled materials or incorporating renewable<br />

organic components, RAM promotes resource conservation.<br />

Additionally, its precision and efficient path planning<br />

minimizes material scrap during production processes,<br />

making it a resource-efficient choice for creating complex<br />

structures (project RAFINESS).<br />

RAM uses granules,<br />

small polymer beads,<br />

as raw material. More<br />

sustainable materials<br />

can be mixed easily<br />

and accurately.<br />

More about RAFINESS.






Modular robotic system that can<br />

move anywhere an AGV can go, be<br />

reassembled for different purposes<br />

and set up to be working independently<br />

without blocking an AGV.<br />

Marvin Schulz<br />

marvin.schulz@ifam.fraunhofer.de<br />

56 57<br />


Vision of a fully flexible assembly, logistics and production<br />

system consisting of AGVs that can couple and uncouple various<br />

work and stand-alone modules as required.<br />

many more can easily be added with various<br />

purposes of use. For the project, the Fraunhofer<br />

IFAM focused on a lightweight robot module<br />

consisting of a Universal Robot 10 (UR10) and a<br />

mechanical tool changer system, component<br />

carrier modules for part logistics and an auxiliary<br />

kinematic that, coupled to the UR10, expands<br />

its payload up to 50 kg. The component carrier<br />

modules can carry small parts in euroboxes, but<br />

also bigger parts, like an aircraft seat row, and, if<br />

they work together, even a hatrack.<br />

which a process plan is created. This plan is then<br />

executed by selecting and commissioning the<br />

available resources. Accordingly, an ontology for<br />

the skill description of the resources provided<br />

has been developed for the “capability checking”<br />

of required and offered skills in accordance with<br />

the capability concept of the Industrie 4.0 platform.<br />

In the future, research will continue on<br />

this topic to see where the newly gained flexibility<br />

can take lightweight robotics.<br />

Lightweight robots are nothing new in the<br />

field of robotics. Their benefits and drawbacks<br />

are well-known. But what about a<br />

modular robotic system that can assemble<br />

and expand independently? And does so<br />

based on the tasks it receives and planned<br />

by a smart decision-making algorithm that<br />

knows about ongoing and upcoming tasks<br />

as well as the resources available? How can<br />

such a system expand the range of applications<br />

of lightweight robots and overcome a<br />

few of their limitations? To analyze these<br />

questions and to develop such a modular<br />

mobile robotic system was one of the goals<br />

of the LuFo VI-1 project “RoboCoop” funded<br />

by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs<br />

and Climate Action in which the Stade<br />

branch’s Fraunhofer IFAM participated, together<br />

with the partners Wireless. Consulting,<br />

Neobotix and PURTEC Engineering.<br />

The system developed consists of four Autonomous<br />

Guided Vehicles (AGVs) with deviating<br />

footprints, heights and payloads. The AGVs were<br />

each equipped with a lift that enables all of them<br />

to couple work modules from storage stations<br />

set up. Within the project, three different kinds<br />

of work modules were planned, but in future<br />


SUCCESS?<br />

Modularity and mobility are the main features of<br />

the flexible system, but it is equally important to<br />

standardize the electrical and mechanical connections<br />

and to implement or create control algorithms<br />

that can make use of these features to<br />

fully exploit the system’s potential. On the software<br />

side, existing industry standards were<br />

used, like OPC UA, Open-RMF and ROS 2, which<br />

were expanded with additional modules as required.<br />

The mana gement system developed by<br />

Fraunhofer IFAM coordinates the overall process<br />

sequences. It is informed of the available<br />

resources and the tasks to be carried out, from<br />

AGVs with totally different height and footprint parameters all able to<br />

couple the standardized work modules from the unified storage stations.

AIRBUS<br />


“The teamwork of Antje Bulmann,<br />

Viktor Fetter and Tobias Horn shows in<br />

an exemplary manner how Airbus<br />

technology from space travel can be used<br />

to reduce CO₂ emissions on earth.”<br />

Dr. Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer<br />

Read more about<br />

DAC technology.<br />

The Airbus Direct Air Capture team with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier<br />

(l.t.r. Antje Bulmann, Frank Walter Steinmeier, Tobias Horn, Viktor Fetter, Yve Fehring).<br />






Antje Bulmann<br />

antje.bulmann@airbus.com<br />

Airbus’ pioneering initiative in the development<br />

of Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology<br />

has been given significant recognition by<br />

the nomination of the team – Antje Bulmann,<br />

Viktor Fetter and Tobias Horn – for<br />

the German Future Prize. This prestigious<br />

prize, awarded by the now Federal President<br />

Frank Walter Steinmeier, has been<br />

honoring technological innovations that<br />

make fundamental contributions to scientific,<br />

social and economic development for<br />

over a quarter of a century.<br />

“The teamwork of Antje Bulmann, Viktor Fetter<br />

and Tobias Horn shows in an exemplary manner<br />

how Airbus technology from space travel can<br />

be used to reduce CO 2 emissions on earth,”<br />

says Airbus Chief Technical Officer Dr. Sabine<br />

Klauke. “The nomination as a finalist for the<br />

German Future Prize is further evidence of the<br />

potential of this pioneering technology. Their<br />

cross- border collaboration serves as motivation<br />

and is a role model for our young engineers<br />

worldwide.”<br />

The DAC technology pioneered by Airbus, originally<br />

designed for the International Space Station<br />

(ISS) life support system, represents a revolutionary<br />

method of extracting CO 2 directly from<br />

the ambient air, taking a significant step towards<br />

sustainable CO 2 management. This technology<br />

is a powerful illustration of the possibility of using<br />

space technology to reduce emissions on<br />

earth and underlines Airbus’ commitment to environmental<br />

sustainability.<br />

Airbus sees this technology as part of a broader<br />

strategy to reduce CO 2 emissions, which also includes<br />

the introduction of sustainable aviation<br />

fuels (SAF) and hydrogen as an energy carrier.<br />

The integration of these technologies aims to<br />

make air transport more environmentally friendly<br />

in the long term and to achieve the climate<br />

targets set by the industry.<br />

The nomination for the German Future Prize not<br />

only signals the technological maturity and potential<br />

of Airbus’ DAC technology, but also the<br />

importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in<br />

the fight against climate change. The progress<br />

made by the Airbus team emphasizes the potential<br />

of scientific research and development to<br />

create sustainable solutions for global challenges,<br />

while taking economic and ecological aspects into<br />

account.<br />

Being recognized by the German Future Prize<br />

underlines the strategic importance of DAC<br />

technology for the future of aviation and beyond.<br />

It represents a clear commitment to innovation<br />

and sustainability – and demonstrates<br />

how future-oriented technologies can contribute<br />

to solving some of the most pressing environmental<br />

problems. Airbus is setting new standards<br />

for the aerospace industry by leading the<br />

way to a greener and more sustainable future.<br />

58 59<br />

Airbus Direct Air Capture system.

FFT<br />






Some ambitious requirements demanded particular<br />

attention:<br />

• Close accuracy and significant operational<br />

loads needed substantial stiffness of the support<br />

structure to limit the deflections.<br />


MultiFAL assembly station.<br />

• Movement of large structures in confined<br />

spaces: placement of the shells into the station<br />

and finally moving the welded fuselage<br />

section out of the station.<br />




Welding of CFRP structures has the potential<br />

to reduce aircraft structural weight and<br />

significantly save assembly time. In the EUfunded<br />

research project MultiFAL, different<br />

welding technologies were developed at<br />

TRL6 level. FFT Produktionssysteme was responsible<br />

for the setup of the assembly station,<br />

including the overall automation and<br />

safety system as well as the motion system<br />

for the welding end effectors.<br />

Three different welding technologies were<br />

demonstrated on an 8 m long fuselage with PAX<br />

and cargo floor. Two longitudinal joints were<br />

closed using laser and ultrasonic welding. All<br />

frame couplings were integrated with resistance<br />

welding. The result is the world’s largest thermoplastic<br />

CFRP fuselage demonstrator. It is currently<br />

on display in <strong>ZAL</strong>’s A-building.<br />


Several European companies contributed to the<br />

success of the project:<br />

• Fuselage shells were built by PAG, DLR Augsburg<br />

and the R&D’s “Stunning” consortium.<br />

• Welding end effectors were supplied by<br />

Fraunhofer, AIMEN, CTI and AITIIP.<br />

• Fraunhofer IFAM was responsible for positioning<br />

and alignment of the fuselage shells.<br />

• The assembly station was designed by CTI, FFT<br />

and AIMEN. It was manufactured, set up and<br />

commissioned by FFT Produktionssysteme at<br />

the Fraunhofer IFAM facility in Stade, Germany.<br />

• Ergonomics and occupational safety for human<br />

access to the welding areas.<br />


A strong 9 m long cantilever bridge became the<br />

main station element, which holds accurately<br />

movable counterforce blocks for longitudinal<br />

welding. In addition, it accommodates two light<br />

linear axes to move the frame coupling end effector.<br />

The lower shell, resting on adjustable pads, was<br />

aligned accurately. The upper shell was attached<br />

to ten hexapods with vacuum suction cups,<br />

which were used for position and shape adjustment.<br />

The counterforce blocks were shimmed to<br />

the nominal fuselage geometry. Laser tracker<br />

measurements were employed to align the assembly<br />

station elements with the required accuracy.<br />

All elastic deformations were small during<br />

welding, even at maximum welding pressure.<br />

For shell placement and fuselage section removal,<br />

the bridge must have an open end. During<br />

welding operations, a removable support structure<br />

was placed at the far bridge end.<br />

The counterforce blocks were extended while the<br />

longitudinal joints were welded. Frame coupling<br />

integration, shell integration and section movements<br />

were performed with retracted blocks.<br />

Movable counterforce blocks.<br />

60 61<br />

Find out more<br />

about FFT.<br />

Accuracy and stiffness of the assembly station<br />

has fulfilled the requirements. Visual inspection<br />

and geometry checks of the welded fuselage<br />

showed very satisfactory results. Investigations<br />

on achieved welding quality are ongoing. First<br />

results are very promising.<br />

The longitudinal welding occurred using with a<br />

few mm per second, which would be substantially<br />

faster than any riveting process.<br />


FFT Produktionssysteme is working on several<br />

R&D projects to improve aircraft manufacturing<br />

technologies. These include gluing (e.g. project<br />

ATON), friction steer welding (e.g. project kaMeL)<br />

or new ergonomic concepts (e.g. project SeMo-<br />

Sys). All projects aim at efficient, high-rate series<br />

production of large, lightweight CFRP and metal<br />

structures for future-generation, innovative aircraft.<br />

This project received funding from the Clean Sky<br />

2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s<br />

Horizon 2020 research and innovation program<br />

under grant agreement no. 821277 MultiFAL.<br />


Kuno Jandaurek<br />




Read here how model-based systems<br />

engineering helps future aircraft.<br />

62<br />

63<br />






Dr. Christoph Starke<br />

christoph.starke@siemens.com<br />

Aviation accounts for nearly five percent of<br />

global greenhouse gas emissions, imposing a<br />

huge demand to transition to carbon-neutral<br />

propulsion systems. This demand is also driven<br />

by the fact that by 2037, twice as many air<br />

travelers are expected as compared to today.<br />

To appreciate the complexity of this task, it is<br />

necessary to understand its biggest technical<br />

hurdle: the power density of kerosene engines.<br />

Jet A has an energy density of 12,000 Wh/kg. In<br />

contrast, today’s aviation-grade batteries have<br />

densities of around 160 to 180 Wh/kg, making<br />

them not a practical alternative for medium-to<br />

long-haul missions.<br />

Another energy vector is green hydrogen. Hydrogen<br />

has the highest energy density of any fuel,<br />

approximately three times higher than Jet A<br />

(33,500 Wh/kg), but it comes with significant<br />

challenges for aircraft design.<br />


Aerospace engineers developing hydrogenbased<br />

sustainable aircraft propulsion systems<br />

have three main options: keeping the gas<br />

turbine propulsion system but running it with<br />

pure hydrogen or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),<br />

using electric motors powered by fuel cells, or a<br />

combination of both principles.<br />

Hydrogen-powered jet engines are closest to existing<br />

concepts. It mainly requires a redesign of<br />

the combustion system to accommodate the<br />

specific behavior of hydrogen, e.g. the flame<br />

speed and temperature.<br />

In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are passed<br />

through an anode and cathode of the cell. A catalyst<br />

is used at the anode to split the hydrogen<br />

molecules into electrons and protons and recombine<br />

them with the oxygen at the cathode,<br />

resulting in water molecules and electrical<br />

energy. This system must be developed to be<br />

light, efficient and safe.<br />

Facing the disruptions<br />

of sustainable aviations,<br />

collaboration has never<br />

been more important.



Modern Computational Fluid Dynamics<br />

can predict the aerodynamic performance<br />

of holistic flight body concepts.<br />

Pressure Coefficient<br />

-1 0 1<br />

All concepts require redesigning the fuel supply.<br />

As stated, hydrogen has the highest energy density<br />

per weight, and the highest specific volume.<br />

While hydrogen can give three times more energy<br />

per weight, four times the volume is needed<br />

for the same energy compared to Jet A. Storing<br />

hydrogen gas requires pressure typically between<br />

500 and 750 bar. In contrast, cryogenic<br />

storage of liquid hydrogen at atmospheric pressure<br />

requires temperatures of below -250 °C.<br />

Because of weight, the latter option is preferred<br />

in aviation.<br />





Designing hydrogen combustion as well as cryogenic<br />

storage and supply requires novel, more<br />

complex simulation capabilities. This is why Siemens<br />

Digital Industry Software participates in<br />

the EU’s Clean Aviation and the German LuFo<br />

programs as the only software provider amongst<br />

the industry partners to do so. Our mandate is<br />

to support the aviation industry and further extend<br />

the physical modeling capabilities to what<br />

is needed to respond to this challenge.<br />


Despite the apparent technology challenges,<br />

one should never forget that there is an even<br />

bigger overarching challenge for the design process.<br />

The reason is simple: hydrogen-powered<br />

aircrafts are new.<br />

Traditional aircraft design is based on the same<br />

configuration as the famous Boeing 707 prototype,<br />

which flew for the first time in 1958. Over<br />

this time, relatively independent subsystems<br />

have evolved, and innovation relies on further<br />

refining and optimizing them. The transition to<br />

hydrogen concepts requires most of the established<br />

compromises to be rethought. This massively<br />

increases the need for proper communication,<br />

data exchange and optimization across<br />

design domains.<br />

The demand for compressing design time is,<br />

therefore, more urgent than ever. It can be<br />

achieved by front-loading the integration and<br />

verification of subsystems in the design process.<br />

More holistic physical digital twins allow us to<br />

detect system shortfalls earlier, and multi -<br />

disciplinary design space exploration significantly<br />

reduces the time to identify compromises between<br />

contradicting requirements.<br />

In parallel, an explosion of design complexity<br />

must be managed. While a conventional turboshaft<br />

has about 2,000 model parameters, a hybrid<br />

fuel cell concept has approximately 5,000.<br />

This example highlights the necessity of more<br />

advanced multi-level modeling capabilities and<br />

proper information exchange.<br />

Finally, the industry is facing strict certification<br />

requirements, and certification efforts will be<br />

massive. New methods and tools are needed to<br />

support the optimal design, development and<br />

verification of climate-neutral aircraft to address<br />

domains entirely new to aircraft integrators and<br />

their supply chains.<br />


As for the design of hydrogen-powered aircraft,<br />

the underlying design process must be completely<br />

rethought and extended to cope with these<br />

challenges. The aspects mentioned above can be<br />

grouped as a digital integrated model-based systems<br />

engineering approach (“iMBSE”).<br />

Airbus, its partners and Siemens are jointly<br />

working to master the challenge in aviation<br />

history: a carbon-neutral future. More details on<br />

hydrogen-powered aircraft design can be found<br />

in our white paper.<br />

See the imprint (p. 76) for references.<br />

64 65<br />

System simulation enables the generation and evaluation of many different<br />

aircraft architectures in the early design phase.<br />

The quality of cross-domain integration in the product design process is the most crucial<br />

success factor for an innovative sustainable aircraft design.







“Product design not only has a significant<br />

influence on comfort, but also on operational<br />

safety in the aircraft. The ergonomic<br />

quality is the key to high-class<br />

product design.”<br />

Torsten Kanitz, CEO of iDS industrial Design Studio<br />

Experience the<br />

66<br />

cabin design concept<br />

67<br />

in 360° view.<br />

Whether in the cockpit or in the aircraft cabin,<br />

the intuitive behavior of the pilots, passengers<br />

or crew must be taken into account.<br />

D328eco virtual mock-up for Deutsche Aircraft.<br />

iDS worked out an ergonomics study for the<br />

D328eco cockpit for Deutsche Aircraft and, in<br />

addition to a virtual approach, also evaluated<br />

the ergonomic quality together with Deutsche<br />

Aircraft engineers and their test pilots in a physical<br />

mock-up in Oberpfaffenhofen.<br />

D328eco virtual mock-up: nightly situation.<br />

Find out more about<br />

the D328eco.<br />


Torsten Kanitz<br />

t.kanitz@ids-hamburg.com<br />

iDS industrial Design Studio has been part<br />

of the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter since 2016 and regularly<br />

contributes to research projects in the<br />

field of aircraft cabin de velopment.<br />

Virtual reality applications offer the opportunity<br />

to systematically evaluate the<br />

cockpit or aircraft cabin at an early stage<br />

of development in order to create a humancentered<br />

environment with high standards<br />

of safety and comfort.<br />

Especially in long-term life cycles, design as a<br />

strategic tool is a direct factor for the economic<br />

efficiency in the development and manufacturing<br />

of high-quality products. iDS uses the possibilities<br />

of virtual product development as well as<br />

physical mock-ups for evaluation.<br />

The <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter offers iDS extremely creative<br />

and effective opportunities for collaboration,<br />

networking and the design of futureoriented<br />

products in the field of aviation.<br />

These factors also play a role for the cabin design<br />

concept for the VÆRIDION microliner so as to ensure<br />

that safety and comfort take top priority.<br />

“Together with iDS, we developed a cabin design<br />

that exceeds the level of comfort that a typical<br />

short-haul business class cabin in Europe is able<br />

to offer,” says Ivan van Dartel, CEO of VÆRIDION.<br />

Man and machine will always remain an area of<br />

research in the future, so that a sensible synthesis<br />

between human requirements and technical<br />

demands can be created.<br />

Cabin design concept for the VÆRIDION microliner.



LISTEN.<br />

AND BE<br />


Tired of reading? Here are three exciting<br />

podcast episodes for you – enjoy!<br />

All episodes of the Hamburg<br />

Aviation Green Podcast can<br />

be found here.<br />

Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) allow<br />

aircraft designers and company<br />

planners to select the right components<br />

and systems, recommending<br />

solutions not only for economic but<br />

also environmental reasons. But<br />

they also rely on gathering and integrating<br />

enough reliable data, a<br />

challenging task even in an increasingly<br />

data-driven industry like aviation. In this very enlightening<br />

episode of Hamburg Avation Green, we spoke<br />

with Antonia Rahn, a researcher at German Aerospace<br />

Center (DLR)’s Institute for MRO. Antonia is a leading<br />

expert on Life Cycle Assessments and their use in the<br />

aviation industry.<br />




THE KEY TO A<br />



68 69<br />

How can we make aircraft cabins<br />

more recyclable? FairCraft, a<br />

ground breaking cabin concept<br />

funded by Hamburg’s GATE program,<br />

tackles this challenge headon.<br />

Developed by Comprisetec<br />

GmbH, it aims to revolutionize air<br />

travel sustainability by prioritizing<br />

weight reduction, recycling<br />

and passenger comfort through<br />

innovative material use. In this episode of Hamburg Aviation<br />

Green, Christian Keun, Project Lead at Comprisetec GmbH, discusses<br />

FairCraft’s vision. What’s the future passenger experience?<br />

How do design changes cut weight and emissions? And do<br />

short-haul routes need overhead bins? Join us for insights into<br />

the future of cabin design.<br />






CABIN<br />







What will be the single most important<br />

technology in decarbonizing aviation over<br />

the next 20 to 30 years? Dr. Ivan Terekhov,<br />

Director of Research Intelligence at Lufthansa<br />

Innovation Hub has the answer. In this<br />

podcast he talks – among many other fascinating<br />

topics – about his team’s recent hype<br />

cycle analysis and what it reveals about<br />

technology readiness for decarbonizing aviation.<br />

Dr. Terekhov talked to us about the<br />

pitfalls of statistics in communicating about<br />

emissions, about realistic expectations,<br />

Greta Thunberg, offsets, Gen Z, gray water<br />

reuse, making statistics sexy and many<br />

other interesting topics.






Innovation is the key driver that guides<br />

Capgemini Engineering activities: we strive<br />

toward innovation through engineering to<br />

create the best solutions, across all industries.<br />

Specialized R&D teams support<br />

Capgemini Engineering in this, developing<br />

projects in seven domains: Future of Mobility,<br />

Future of Networking and Computing,<br />

Future of Healthcare, Future of Sustainability,<br />

Future of Energy, Future of Engineering<br />

and Future of Applied AI.<br />

As a world leader in engineering and R&D services,<br />

we combine our broad industry knowledge<br />

and cutting-edge technologies in digital<br />

and software to support the convergence of the<br />

physical and digital worlds. Coupled with the capabilities<br />

of Capgemini, we help organizations to<br />

accelerate their journey toward Intelligent Industry,<br />

while creating tangible impact for enterprises<br />

and society.<br />

Apart from developing innovation solutions in<br />

key topics together, there is a vibrant relationship<br />

between <strong>ZAL</strong> and Capgemini Engineering,<br />

since a strong base of our research partners can<br />

be found within <strong>ZAL</strong>. Furthermore, <strong>ZAL</strong> regularly<br />

provides facilities for internal events, which underlines<br />

the engineering and research character<br />

of our business unit.<br />



Every day we receive news about the effects of<br />

climate change and the failure to meet the<br />

1.5 °C target, as was decreed in the Paris Agreement<br />

in 2015. It is undeniable that humanity can<br />

no longer continue down the path of fossil fuels.<br />

One frequently cited solution for decarboniza-<br />

tion is hydrogen. Produced from renewable energies,<br />

it processes water to produce energy.<br />

Although there are still obstacles on the journey<br />

toward green hydrogen and the establishment<br />

of a global hydrogen market, it is clear that there<br />

is no sustainable future without it. Challenges<br />

include the small energy density of gaseous<br />

hydrogen, even at higher pressures, and that a<br />

new hydrogen infrastructure needs to be<br />

created. Furthermore, new emerging hydrogen<br />

technologies are usually not calibrated for maximum<br />

efficiency and it will take more research<br />

until that happens. However, with the power of<br />

innovation these challenges can be overcome.<br />


As a leading Engineering, Research & Development<br />

company, we see it as our responsibility as<br />

a pioneer of innovation to address these challenges<br />

within our R&D projects to create intelligent<br />

solutions with our partners.<br />

Renewables, like sun or wind energy, are fluctuating<br />

energy sources. This makes it difficult to<br />

use them for processes that have a continuous<br />

energy demand, like steel or manufacturing. As<br />

we cannot change the nature of renewable energy,<br />

we must change the processes and fit<br />

them toward the fluctuation profile of renewables.<br />

Take electrolysis as an example: using a<br />

software that forecasts the availability of renewable<br />

energy, we can easily adapt the running<br />

profile of the electrolyser to produce the maximum<br />

amount of green hydrogen with the available<br />

energy.<br />

Data also supports the optimization of new<br />

technologies. Using a digital twin, for example<br />

“Innovation is in our DNA –<br />

it is curiosity that drives us<br />

to get the future we want.”<br />

Andreas Kötter, Head of Research & Innovation<br />

for fuel cells, which behaves the same way as a<br />

real fuel cell, a multitude of virtual experiments<br />

can be run in less time. Furthermore, it can be<br />

coupled with artificial intelligence, e.g. for the<br />

creation of a forecast model for predictive maintenance.<br />

Sector coupling is one of the key pillars of a successful<br />

energy transition toward sustainability.<br />

This is why we investigate the implementation<br />

of a switchable fuel cell and electrolyser system<br />

with metal hydride-based hydrogen storage<br />

into the gas net for the emergency supply of a<br />

bus transport in Hamburg. In order to increase<br />

the system efficiency and return on investment,<br />

our team identifies critical economic and ecologic<br />

pain points and works toward the most<br />

profitable way of implementation into the different<br />

sectors.<br />

In addition to sustainable technologies for a<br />

greener energy supply, we also focus on how to<br />

make products from various industries recyclable<br />

and reduce their ecological footprint. We are<br />

active in various industries. To this end, we are<br />

conducting research into aircraft galleys, the application<br />

of bionic design and the selection of<br />

new materials, as well as the exploitation of synergies<br />

in heating and cooling flows.<br />

In the automotive industry, we are showing how<br />

the ecological footprint can be reduced through<br />

networked production, modular product design<br />

and the use of new business models. We are also<br />

trying to reduce the footprint in the wind power<br />

sector. Not only through the development of<br />

sustainable resins, but also through innovative<br />

monitoring systems for rotor blades, which can<br />

extend the service life of wind turbines.<br />

70 71<br />

Check out our<br />

blog series<br />

on hydrogen.<br />

Since sustainability is relevant for all industries,<br />

we are also investigating how more sustainable<br />

production technologies can be used in the<br />

semiconductor industry. The price will remain<br />

the most important factor in the future when it<br />

comes to how the market accepts innovation.<br />

For this reason, we evaluate all technologies not<br />

only with a life cycle assessment, but also with<br />

life cycle costing – developed at <strong>ZAL</strong>.<br />

From the worlds of energy, transport, chemistry<br />

and industry, many companies share the same<br />

enthusiasm for sustainability and hydrogen, but<br />

only those that can overcome the challenges<br />

along the path will be able to make the most of<br />

it. Digital technologies will be a gamechanger in<br />

the acceleration of companies for a greener<br />

planet. With the power of data and innovation,<br />

we can create the sustainable future we want.<br />

Read more about<br />

our other research<br />

projects.<br />


Andreas Kötter<br />




“At Diehl, I’ve explored innovative technology<br />

and exciting projects from day one –<br />

inspiring! Is anything better than shaping<br />

the future with like-minded colleagues?”<br />

Björn began as a student at Diehl Aviation at <strong>ZAL</strong> in 2016 and<br />

is now an engineer in the Innovation & Digitalization Management.<br />

Florian with Max and Phillipa, both interns with Diehl’s innovation team.<br />



At <strong>ZAL</strong> (Center of Applied Aeronautical<br />

Research) in Hamburg, Diehl Aviation’s innovation<br />

team has developed ideas for tomorrow’s<br />

aviation. And this together with young<br />

interns and students: a win-win situation!<br />

Three years ago, two trainees started their sixweek<br />

internship with Diehl Aviation in <strong>ZAL</strong>. At<br />

the end, both had independently developed a<br />

mock-up for a touchless soap dispenser in the<br />

on-board toilet. A eureka moment for Florian,<br />

Diehl engineer and mentor for the young<br />

people: “Both of them gave us great input, which<br />

we hadn’t anticipated beforehand.” The innovation<br />

team was tailor-made for this: ideas can be<br />

developed freely, and aeronautical regulations<br />

come second. A little prior knowledge can help<br />

you look at ideas without prejudice and discover<br />

new possibilities.<br />



Philippa and Max are now at the drawing board.<br />

Their core project: to design a breaking test for<br />

a touchless bathroom door, develop the construction<br />

and perform the test. For Diehl, this is<br />

a milestone in development. How stable is this<br />

innovative door? Will it need improving? Could<br />

material be spared to reduce the weight?<br />

Philippa: “It’s simply fascinating to test out your<br />

own solutions, from the initial practice sketches<br />

to the construction to the test.” Experiences<br />

that make you want more. Max: “Working on<br />

such important projects as an intern gives you a<br />

real feel for the job.” It’s hard to imagine a stronger<br />

case being made for laying the groundwork<br />

to develop career aspirations.<br />


Albrecht is already a step ahead. At Diehl<br />

Aviation, he’s studying aircraft design and writing<br />

his Bachelor’s thesis on attaching lavatories to<br />

the airplane structure. Background: aircraft suppliers<br />

currently check the technical requirements<br />

of customers and approval authorities<br />

manually, so to speak. Digitizing this process<br />

holds enormous potential. Diehl Aviation has<br />

long been working on this and supports students<br />

accordingly. Albrecht: “Being able to write<br />


Florian Zager-Rode<br />

florian.zager-rode@diehl.com<br />

my thesis here is a great opportunity.” The infrastructure<br />

is excellent, colleagues are always willing<br />

to give feedback, he’s involved and he can<br />

directly apply his knowledge from the lectures.<br />

72 73<br />

“Whether fresh out of school or already at the<br />

university: young people enrich our developments<br />

at Diehl Aviation with their unbiased approach,”<br />

Florian says. “They’re a real asset, and<br />

we have the chance to identify talent early on –<br />

the sooner we include them, the better!”<br />

Max, Phillipa, Albrecht and Björn discussing a 3D-printed solution.







Charlotte, proTechnicale Classic, Year 10<br />

proTechnicale: What are you currently doing<br />

and where?<br />

CHARLOTTE I’m doing a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical<br />

engineering at ETH Zurich. On the side,<br />

I work as a teaching assistant for first-semester<br />

students.<br />

What is your most important takeaway<br />

from your time with proTechnicale?<br />

CHARLOTTE My most important physical takeaway<br />

are the friends I made there. They support<br />

me at all times. Additionally, I learned at pro-<br />

Technicale to believe more in myself and to muster<br />

the courage to go my own way, no matter<br />

how difficult and bumpy things may get. Because<br />

I always have support behind me.<br />

This mistake has propelled me forward:<br />

CHARLOTTE Not having recognized the naivety<br />

in my childhood that there are differences between<br />

genders. Once having understood that<br />

this is not the case, I could turn to my interests<br />

and talents completely unbiased and never felt<br />

like I was to be worse in STEM subjects than my<br />

male classmates, for example.<br />

Leonie (on the left) and Charlotte, two alumnae who found<br />

their way into the STEM world thanks to proTechnicale.<br />

Leonie, proTechnicale School, Year 2<br />

proTechnicale: What are you currently<br />

doing and where?<br />

LEONIE I completed my training as a real estate<br />

clerk in January and continue to work for my<br />

training company until I start my dual studies<br />

(mechanical and production engineering) at Airbus<br />

Defence and Space in Bremen in September.<br />



STEM Gap Year for<br />

female high school<br />

graduates<br />

Period:<br />

Annually from<br />

October 1 to August 31<br />

74 What advice would you give to your 14-yearold<br />

self?<br />

LEONIE Approach tasks, challenges and new situations<br />

with more confidence. You don’t have to<br />

Location:<br />

Mainly Hamburg<br />

(<strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter)<br />

75<br />

Cheerful and well-connected participants from all over Germany at the School program’s summer camp at the <strong>ZAL</strong> TechCenter.<br />

be afraid – you can do it.<br />


Anica Emmett<br />

office@protechnicale.de<br />

proTechnicale promotes and challenges the<br />

female tech talents of tomorrow. They<br />

study mechatronics or physics, mechanical<br />

or environmental engineering, computer<br />

science or molecular life sciences. Others<br />

are already polar researchers, aerospace<br />

engineers or doctoral candidates. Some are<br />

in Munich, others in Dresden or Karlsruhe,<br />

many are in Hamburg.<br />

The alumnae of proTechnicale are each forging<br />

individual paths – but they all have one thing in<br />

common: they took the decision of which path<br />

to take consciously and autonomously. proTechnicale<br />

plays a significant part in this.<br />

proTechnicale offers two study and career orientation<br />

programs focusing on STEM (Science,<br />

Technology, Engineering and Mathematics): the<br />

Gap Year Classic for female high school graduates<br />

and the hybrid School program for female<br />

students from the 10th grade onwards. Both<br />

concepts are based on imparting hybrid qualifications,<br />

combining technical knowledge with social<br />

skills (hard and soft skills). Additionally, pro-<br />

Technicale provides internships in Germany and<br />

in the EU or further abroad, mentoring, access<br />

to professional networks and personal contact<br />

with role models. Plus, proTechnicale creates a<br />

safe space where the participants can move<br />

freely without being confronted with stereotypes,<br />

expectations or demands. proTechnicale<br />

nurtures and challenges the female tech talents<br />

of tomorrow.<br />

“We advocate for equality of opportunity and diversity<br />

in the tech industry,” says Anica Emmett,<br />

team lead of proTechnicale. For this commitment,<br />

proTechnicale was awarded this year’s<br />

ITEC Cares Award in the category of “Diversity in<br />

Tech” in social engagement. The city of Hamburg<br />

(Ministry for Economic Affairs and Innovation) as<br />

well as foundations and donations provide significant<br />

support to the programs.<br />

What is your favorite proTechnicale motto<br />

and why?<br />

CHARLOTTE Be courageous and reach for the<br />

stars! Firstly, because we would never have come<br />

so far if we were not curious and brave enough<br />

to try out new things. Secondly, because it always<br />

gives me new strength and energy when I feel<br />

overwhelmed or doubt my decisions.<br />

Participants of proTechnicale Classic in<br />

the <strong>ZAL</strong> laboratory.<br />

What is your most important takeaway<br />

from your time with proTechnicale?<br />

LEONIE Dare to do it! I got to know so many interesting<br />

and successful women from the STEM<br />

industry who shared their career paths and experiences<br />

with us. All these encounters have<br />

strengthened me to pursue my dream and<br />

showed me that there is also a place for me in<br />

the STEM field, and I just have to have the courage<br />

to take the leap because I definitely can.<br />

When you think about professional life,<br />

what is an essential future skill for you?<br />

LEONIE Being adaptable and always ready to<br />

learn new things and face new challenges or<br />

situations.<br />

What is your favorite proTechnicale motto<br />

and why?<br />

LEONIE Be courageous and reach for the stars.<br />

The motto symbolizes that if you act boldly, you<br />

can achieve anything you want. Starting in September,<br />

I’ll be reaching for those stars!<br />


SCHOOL<br />

Hybrid study orientation<br />

program for<br />

females students from<br />

grade 10 onwards<br />

Period:<br />

Twice annually<br />

(March 1 to July 31<br />

or September 1 to<br />

January 31)<br />

Location:<br />

Digital plus camp in<br />

Hamburg (optionally)<br />

For more information<br />

please visit<br />



<strong>ZAL</strong> CENTER OF APPLIED<br />


Hein-Sass-Weg 22<br />

21129 Hamburg, Germany<br />

+49 40 248 595 0<br />

info@zal.aero<br />

zal.aero<br />

linkedin.com/company/zaltechcenter<br />

facebook.com/<strong>ZAL</strong>TechCenter<br />


Miriam-Joana Flügger, <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH<br />

Georg Wodarz, <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH<br />

76<br />


FORMBA GmbH<br />

info@formba.de<br />

formba.de<br />


RESET ST. PAULI Druckerei GmbH<br />

info@resetstpauli.de<br />

resetstpauli.de<br />


p. 42–43, DLR TT “Research for Sustainable Fuel Cell Systems In Aviation”: F. Becker et al. “Efficiency and Durability Enhancement of PEM-FC-Systems by<br />

Anode-System Control”. DLR Proceeding & Poster European, EFCF 2023 | G. Montaner Ríos et al. “Effect of Purge Gases during Shutdown on PEMFC Degradation<br />

and Cold Start Performance”. DLR proceeding and lecture, EFCF 2023 | M. Schröder et al. “Optimal operating conditions of PEM fuel cells in<br />

commercial aircraft”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 46, no. 66, pp. 33218–33240, 2021<br />

p. 62–65, Siemens “Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft Design for Sustainable Aviation”: International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation: Contribution of the Global<br />

Aviation Sector to Achieving Paris Agreement Climate Objectives, https://bit.ly/3CxFPTC | Pacôme Magnin, Siemens Digital Industries Software: Digital<br />

Stakes Enabling Sustainable Aviation Accelerated Development, presentation at PEGASUS Fall Meeting, Paris, Oct. 26th/27, 2023 | Siemens Digital Industries<br />

Software: Hydrogen-powered Aircraft Design, white paper, https://resources.sw.siemens.com/en-US/white-paper-aerospace-defense-hydrogenpowered-aircraft<br />


Cover: Daniel Reinhardt; p. 2–3: Georg Wodarz (2); p. 6–7: Daniel Reinhardt, forstory, proTechnicale, Noun Project (Colourcreatype, IYIKON, Mira iconic,<br />

Vectors Market); p. 8–11: German Aerospace Center (DLR) (5); p. 12–13: Marc Dibowski/SFS (2), H. Schroeder/bildplan (2); p.14: Airbus S.A.S. 2022; p. 15– 17:<br />

Liebherr (5); p. 18: Shutterstock (Iyoze, Oasishifi, rafastockbr); p.19–21: ATP Architekten Ingenieure (3); p. 22: Daniel Reinhardt; p. 23: Daniel Reinhardt,<br />

IDTA, DLR; p. 24–25: Lufthansa Technik (3); p. 26: Lufthansa Technik; p. 27: <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH; p. 28: <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH, illustration and icons: FORMBA (Ines Thaller);<br />

p. 29: Daniel Reinhardt (2), <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH; p. 30–31: <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH (2), AES; p. 32: Shutterstock (Jaromir Chalabala), Daryna Kornieieva, Sustainable Aero Lab;<br />

p. 34–35: Pixabay (satheeshsankaran), icons: FORMBA (Ines Thaller); p. 36–37: Centerline Design GmbH (3); p. 38: Daniel Reinhardt; p. 39: <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH (2);<br />

p. 40–41: Teccon, mb+Partner, Thelsys, JH Aircraft (2); p. 43: Daniel Reinhardt (3); p. 44–45: DLR-Fotomedien, Adobe Stock (Jonas Weinitschke); p. 46–47:<br />

icons: FORMBA (Ines Thaller); p. 48: Bombardier; p. 49: IDS Hamburg (3); p. 50–51: Aviasonic GmbH (2); p. 52: Finnair (Mikko Ryhänen); p. 53: jetlite (2);<br />

p. 54: Daniel Reinhardt; p. 55: <strong>ZAL</strong> GmbH (2), IDS Hamburg, Daniel Reinhardt; p. 56–57: Fraunhofer IFAM (3); p. 58–59: Deutscher Zukunftspreis, Ansgar<br />

Pudenz; p. 60–61: Fraunhofer IFAM (2); p. 62–65: Siemens (4); p. 66–67: IDS Hamburg (3); p. 68: Daniel Reinhardt; p. 69: Oliver Sorg, private; p. 71: Vertigo3d;<br />

p. 72–73: Daniel Reinhardt (2); p. 74: proTechnicale; p. 75: private (2), proTechnicale<br />


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