Picture of the month

The Research Engine

In 2022, the Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery (IFAS), in cooperation with MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH and the TFD of Leibniz University Hannover, successfully conducted two measurement campaigns with the research engine of TU Braunschweig. The measurement campaign consisted of two engine setups with different compressor blades. The data obtained is now being used in several research projects in the field of component fatigue as well as the construction of a digital twin of the engine.

Research engine from the Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery (IFAS): Photo credit: Jan Göing/TU Braunschweig

This picture shows the research engine from the Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery. It is a turbofan engine of the type IAE V2500-A1, which was designed for the Airbus A320 aircraft. For research purposes, it was equipped with over 100 special probes. The research engine was operated by MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH. The picture was taken shortly before the first commissioning of a total of six test runs and eight measurement days.

Influence of wear and tear on fuel consumption

Over the last twelve years, researchers have developed mathematical models that assess the condition of complex capital assets – including engines – in the context of digitalisation and the “digital twin”. These models make it possible to determine the influence of wear and tear such as erosion, corrosion and contamination on fuel consumption. As a decision-making aid when planning maintenance and servicing of the engine, these models provide valuable information.

To check the accuracy of the mathematical models, the research engine was equipped with additional measurement technology and put into operation. Different high-pressure compressor blading was used and the combustion chamber was modified to provoke disturbances and perform adapted manoeuvres.

Real test conditions

The specific feature of this project was the work on a real engine at pressures of over 30 bar and temperatures of over 1000 Kelvin. Strong interdisciplinary cooperation between researchers, mechanics and engineers was required to successfully complete the project.

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Pictures of previous months

Picture of the Month April 2023

A work step on the way to single photon emitters: crystals of zinc phthalocyanine. Picture credits: Gunilla Harm/TU Braunschweig

At this point, the object in our picture of the month is still clearly visible. But the scientists at TU Braunschweig are making progress. As part of the QuantumFrontiers cluster of excellence, they have the vision of isolating individual molecules from the glowing orange crystals and selectively processing them. Attached to semiconductor surfaces, these molecules are given an incredibly tiny yet crucial task: to emit individual particles of light, photons. Read more

Picture of the month March 2023

You swallowed the tablet – and then what? How does the active substance get to where it is supposed to arrive in the body? If we know exactly how this works, medicines can be developed more efficiently and animal experiments can be reduced. To achieve this, the Institute of Microtechnology (IMT) is building chips in silicon technology that can be used to experimentally examine the absorption of active substances. Read more

Picture of the month February 2023

Concrete can absorb compressive forces, but when bending moments and tensile forces occur, the material can crack. To prevent this, reinforcement is used, for example in a base plate when building a house, often made of steel in the form of meshes or cages. Reinforcement is also necessary in 3D printing with cementitious materials in order to create load-bearing structures. One of the greatest challenges in additive manufacturing, because the good old “rebar”, as the reinforcing steel is also called, is not used here. Instead, steel structures are imprinted or filigree metal strands are carried along in the concrete strand. Scientists at TU Braunschweig are also developing textile-based reinforcement strategies in the Collaborative Research Center Transregio 277 “Additive Manufacturing in Construction”. Read more

Picture of the month January 2023

Wind power plays a crucial role in providing an environmentally friendly, reliable and affordable energy supply. One challenge in the year-round uninterrupted operation of wind turbines is the icing up of the turbine by supercooled water droplets. In winter, ice build-up due to low-hanging clouds or fog is also possible at German locations. This has a negative impact on electricity production and operational safety. In the Braunschweig Icing Wind Tunnel, scientists are investigating how ice build-up can be prevented or how de-icing can be simplified. Read more

Picture of the month December 2022

When metallic materials are exposed to stresses such as high temperatures and tensions over a long period of time, changes occur in their microstructure. In turbine blades, these lead to potential material damage, but researchers from the Institute of Materials Science are taking advantage of precisely this mechanism. They are using it to produce nanoporous membranes made of a nickel base superalloy that could be used in pharmaceuticals. What these membranes look like under the microscope is shown in our picture of the month. Read more

Picture of the month November 2022

“Research in the process of becoming” – this is how professor Martin Geier describes his picture of the month. It shows an intermediate step on the way to a physically correct simulation of a falling concrete drop. The simulation should help to understand the behaviour of fluids with large density differences. This understanding can later be used to increase the stability of shotcrete structures. On the way to this goal, professor Geier’s team is still working on parameters such as viscosity and surface tension to adapt the simulation to real conditions. Read more

Picture of the month October 2022

From left to right: five seconds of dense fog. Our picture of the month shows a section of the wind lidar project of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). In this project, the team around Dr. Michael Eggert and Paul Wilhelm is constantly developing a system that sets new standards in remote wind measurements: PTB’s bistatic wind lidar. Although the fog image is rather a curious special case (the lidar can be used even at very low particle densities and clear visibility): In fog, the novel measuring instrument demonstrates its performance and resolution particularly impressively. Read more

Picture of the month September 2022

Whether heart valves, urinary bladders or tracheas: through tissue construction and tissue engineering, these organs have already been successfully replaced artificially in patients. Other organs, such as the stomach, are much more complex. They consist of different tissues, different cell types and are also permeated by countless blood vessels. In order to improve the quality of life of gastric resection patients with a new stomach replacement therapy, the biomechanics laboratory is researching the mechanical properties of a healthy stomach on different size scales. Read more

Picture of the month August 2022

Oregano makes people happy and insects too! – that could be the motto for our picture of the month. Oregano is an indispensable spice in Italian cuisine, but it also has numerous positive properties for humans and the environment. In the Medicinal Plant Garden of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology at Technische Universität Braunschweig, you can find not only the well-known Mediterranean oregano but also the native wild oregano. Read more

Picture of the month July 2022

Not all electron microscopes are the same. Since the first set-up in 1931, researchers have been working at great expense to achieve ever higher resolutions. The most powerful electron microscope at the TU Braunschweig, the TEM, is therefore completely sealed off from mechanical vibrations (such as trams rattling past) and magnetic fields (such as the earth’s magnetic field) at the LENA research centre. Read more

Picture of the month June 2022

UV light has a wide range of applications: Depending on the wavelength and energy intensity of the light, UV LEDs can sterilise surfaces and water, make tomatoes grow particularly tasty or be used in dermatology for skin treatments. However, the efficiency of the “invisible” UV LEDs can still be improved. A team at the Institute of Semiconductor Technology is researching this. Their approach: The crystal layers within the UV LEDs are laid out three-dimensionally as a microstructure instead of as a two-dimensional disc, as was previously the case. Analyses under the electron microscope – as seen here in the Picture of the Month June – indicate a high efficiency of the UV LEDs constructed in this way. Read more

Picture of the month May 2022

What role does a street play in the overall network? And how do the individual segments of the urban street network relate to each other? This is what the SpACE Lab at ISU – Institute for Sustainable Urbanism at Technische Universität Braunschweig is working on. The “Spatial Analytics and Crossdisciplinarity Experimentation Lab” develops data-driven methods and solutions for human centric sustainable mobility. In the work shown here, the interdisciplinary team focuses on developing a network-based user-centric categorisation of street segments. This can be used, for example, to make statements about the quality of the network for different street users. Our picture of the month May visualises this categorisation to get a better understanding of the Urban Street Network.

Picture of the month April 2022

Our picture of the month April 2022 does not show a landscape on a distant planet, but a special fabric. The piece of fabric, which measures about four by two centimetres, can be found in various places on the inside of a so-called ECG T-shirt. It is used to measure an electrocardiogram (ECG) without the patients noticing anything. The Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics (PLRI) at Technische Universität Braunschweig and the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover is using this to research the future of health monitoring. Read more

Picture of the month March 2022

The picture shows a scan of a ground-penetrating radar. It shows unchanging objects in the ground. If the data is combined with the position from laser measurements, a map developed from this information can be used for the navigation of mobile robots. A laser or cameras would then no longer be necessary. The Institute for Mobile Machines and Commercial Vehicles is conducting research on this in the “LoBaBo” project. Read more

Picture of the month February 2022

Here they are, the first early bloomers in the Botanical Garden poking their little heads out. The native winter aconite is one of the quickest. With its bright yellow flowers, it already has its big moment in February. Under the still leafless trees, the small tuberous flowers form dense flower carpets and set bright colour accents. Reason enough to take a closer look at the plants in our picture of the month. Read more

Picture of the month January 2022

For the researchers, the headspace GC/MS system shown in the Picture of the Month is an eagerly awaited addition for battery analysis. It was purchased for BLB diagnostic line. It will now make it possible to better understand battery aging and develop longer-lasting batteries. It is a system for the analysis of liquid electrolytes or soluble surface deposits in the components of a battery. Read more

You can find more pictures of the month in our magazine.