Contemporary Topics

Along the process chain Fraunhofer AVIATION is an enabler and competent system supplier for futuristic topics like »Digital Transformation«, »Aviation Next Generation«, »Safety and Security« as well as »Sustainability«.

1. Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation combines different topics. All members of the AVIATION process chain consider it as a mega trend and a tool to enable innovative solutions and to grant economic efficiency as well as growth. It makes AVIATION-related companies expect quantitative advantages like an increase in productivity and a reduction of fixed costs as well as qualitative advantages like more flexibility and the possibility to offer each customer unique innovative and affordable products and services. This also includes the development and use of complex sensor systems for nondestructive status detection for every product life phase. The biggest challenge of the Digital Transformation is to grant a systematical shift from the analogue to the digital world. Furthermore, data scientists and experienced employees are needed.


Digital Twins, Predictive Maintenance, Smart Objects, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Big Data, Data Warehousing, Data Mining, Data Integration, Blockchain, Cloud Solutions, Industry 4.0, Cyber Physical Systems CPS, Internet of Things IoT, Auto-ID-Technologies, Wearables.

Sample projects:

Quality assurance in production by airborne sound sensors (Fraunhofer IZFP)

Nondestructive Monitoring in the product life cycle (Fraunhofer IZFP)

Fuelsurcharge Index (Fraunhofer IML)

Study: Logistic and mobility in Hesse in 2030 (Fraunhofer IML) [GER]

2. Aviation Next Generation

The emerge of passengers and goods development has a heavy influence on the economic success of the future of AVIATION as well as concerned producers of machinery and equipment, infrastructure managers and service providers. Drones, working as caps, are supposed to face the increasing urbanization and traffic load in conurbations and to safe their passenger’s lifetime. In order to safe costs as well as to improve process flexibility, airfreight shipments are supposed to search their way to their destination autonomously in the future. Furthermore, vessels become more interesting to improve the life cycle assessment and to reduce cost.


Future transport networks, UAV, autonomous drone-caps in conurbations, Passenger Experience, assistance systems for travelling, autonomous drones to transport packages on the last mile, autonomous planes, autonomous machinery and equipment, intelligent robots, 3-dimensional printing, alternative drives.

Sample projects:

Hamad International Airport: newly built cargo terminal (Fraunhofer IML) [GER]

BinGo (Fraunhofer IML) [GER]

InventAIRy (Fraunhofer IML) [GER]

3. Safety and Security

Improving civil security is one of the main task to obtain the quality of life and the value creation in Germany. This implies that citizens, companies and authorities have to be protected from natural disasters and men-made threads like hacker attacks or terrorist attacks. Living in a complex and interconnected surrounding makes this task difficult. This applies to improved prevention as well as to efficient solutions for security conflicts.

Safety and Security have always been important for air traffic (passengers, luggage, freight). Here the concerned parties are especially sensitive for this topic, which makes it complicated and expensive; 91% of all airlines decided to invest in cyber security programs within the next three years and the Airports Council International calculated that the air traffic makes up 4,1% of the European gross domestic product and about 12 millions of jobs.

Dynamically changing global security situation, a high process complexity and high inventions and operational costs, challenge infrastructure operators like airports as well as providers of security solutions. Chances of new technologies and technologies that can be integrated in the current infrastructure have to be taken to maximize safety and security (risk simulation, risk prevention, damage repair). This does not only apply for a safe end-to-end-transport of passengers, luggage and freight (physical safety and security) but also for a safe transport and use of critical data (Cyber Security)


Profiling, safety and security of identification, dynamic safety and security processes, Cyber Security, attacks from hackers, new screening technologies for passengers, luggage and freight, security and safety measures that can be easily implemented, unattended luggage, men-made or natural disasters.

Sample projects:

Autonomous driving robot, which surveilles lanes and buildings (Fraunhofer IZFP)

Heli4Rescue (Fraunhofer IML) [GER]

Speed Gate (Fraunhofer IML) [GER]

Facility for temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products (Fraunhofer IML)

4. Sustainability

It is not possible to stop the demographic change and the importance of including disabled people increases within the society. Products and services, which support the demographic change gain in importance, are often seen as a tool to raise employment and lead to a structural entrepreneurial change. Protecting people from noise and harmful emissions. Environmental protection and sustainable use of energy decide upon our future. This also leads to financial and technological risks for all members of AVIATION’s process chain. A philanthropic and eco- friendly process chain could be decisive. AVIATION’s biggest challenge is to develop while regarding ecology, economy and social aspects.


Green Airport, ecological efficiency, climate protection, climate-friendly mobility, carbon dioxide balance, Zero-Emission-Airport, optimizing means of transport, humanization of the working world, ageing society, inclusion

Sample project: