For the aerospace industry, reducing weight and energy consumption is a core issue. To optimize turbine engineering and save costs, the industry is looking at various approaches to turbine construction. Novel turbine design, lighter turbine blades, optimized cooling and low cost repair techniques are just a few examples.
In this environment, additive manufacturing is proving to be a promising technology. Leading turbine manufacturers have formed R&D partnerships with Fraunhofer ILT – in some cases through branches at the Digital Photonic Production research campus in Aachen, located in the immediate vicinity of the institute. At the International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing ICTM, turbine manufacturers from the aerospace and energy sectors cooperate with Fraunhofer Institutes ILT and IPT, both of which are based in Aachen.
In addition to production issues, additive manufacturing processes also play a key role in maintenance, repair and overhaul. The cooperation partners not only drive forward the R&D activities, but actively take care of the technological prerequisites to certify new procedures.
In the field of satellite-based measuring systems for environmental analysis, increasingly powerful, narrow-band laser systems are needed with which concentrations of gas constituents of the atmosphere can be detected with high accuracy. Fraunhofer ILT has developed its own technology platform for satellite-based laser systems. It is cooperating with partners such as the German Aerospace Center DLR, the Airbus Group, the TESAT Spacecom or the European Space Agency ESA.