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DLR founds a new institute in Hanover

DLR founds a new institute in Hanover


The Institute of Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensors (SI) is primarily dedicated to research questions in the context of the use of quantum technologies and quantum sensor technology, for example for new methods of terrestrial or space-based earth observation, new navigation systems or planetary research.

On 27 June 2019, the Senate of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) approved the establishment of seven new institutes and facilities. It thus confirms a resolution passed by the German Bundestag in November last year and explicitly includes quantum technology in DLR''s portfolio. The Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensing (DLR-SI) will be established in Hanover. With the establishment of the institute, competencies in the field of application-oriented sensor technology for novel satellite missions will be bundled and expanded and Hannover''s position as a location for quantum technology further strengthened.

International experts from science and industry had evaluated the concept of the new institutes from April to May 2019. In their report, they confirmed the scientific excellence and social relevance of the seven new DLR institutes.

"In Hanover, we will be developing quantum technology solutions for new quantum sensors," explains Wolfgang Ertmer, Professor at the Institute of Quantum Optics at Leibniz University and provisional head of the new DLR Institute. These will, for example, enable new Earth observation missions in space in order to obtain a better database for assessing changes in the water balance and ice masses on Earth or to gain a deeper insight into volcanic activities. Climate change, agriculture and human use have an impact on the distribution of groundwater and surface water, both on a small scale and on a large scale. This can result in water shortages or extreme events. Improved Earth observation provides unique information about the relevant processes in the Earth system.

The first scientific projects are already being initiated in the start-up phase of the institute. As the first major space project, the BECCAL mission to the International Space Station ISS is planned jointly with NASA.

The new institute will be located in Nordstadt of Hannover in the immediate vicinity of existing large research networks of Leibniz University in the field of quantum technology and will cooperate closely with them.


For further information, please contact Prof. Wolfgang Ertmer, Institute of Quantum Optics, Leibniz Universität Hannover, phone +49 511 762 3242 or send an e-mail to: