Ausgabe 2/2007

The German Aerospace Centre DLR

DLR is Germany’s national research center for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. As Germany’s Space Agency, DLR has been given responsibility for the forward planning and the implementation of the German space program by the German federal government as well as for the international representation of German interests.

Approximately 5,500 people are employed in DLR’s 28 institutes and facilities at eight locations in Germany. DLR also operates offices in Brussels, Paris and Washington D.C.

Institute of Aerospace Medicine
In the technologically-advanced world of tomorrow, humankind will need to be more mobile than ever before – not only on earth but also in space. People will need to remain healthy and fit to meet these challenges.
Consequently, the main challenge of the institute is to develop methods to ensure that humans will be able to achieve their full potential in a mobile society whilst remaining in good physical shape. One of the institute’s key aims is to substantially improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the man-machine-environment interface.

Research areas are life-science problems related to traffic, aviation and spaceflight from the medical as well as the psychological point of view. Further, studies investigating the basic functions of the human body under microgravity conditions are carried out. The approach taken here is to systematically perform human physiology experiments in such a manner that the influence of gravity can be discounted.

At the same time it is essential, from a medical point of view, to develop measures to counteract effects such as bone and muscle loss which arise when the human body is subjected to weightlessness.

The institute is also involved in investigating the mechanisms by which life can adapt to or be protected from extreme environments including radiation as well as with projects which deal with the search of extraterrestrial life.
One of the core tasks of the institute is the data and IT management for planning, realization and appraisal of biological experiments and human physiological studies. For many years, this expertise is also applied in the fields of telemedicine and ground control systems for satellite communication. The respective tasks cover the whole range from conceptual design to implementation with focus on application and usability.

The Telemedicine and Telematics working group develops techniques and instruments for the institution spanning support of medical care for astronautics, aeronautics, traffic and the health care sector. This also includes the institute's interdisciplinary research on life sciences by developing and implementing of integrated information and communication technologies. Partner and contractors in our telemedicine application projects are civil aviation, the Medical Service of the German Armed Forces and various domains of the health care sector.

by Prof. Dr. R. Gerzer, DLR

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