Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Stefanos Fasoulas


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Klinkner

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Prof. Fasoulas

Larissa Schunter

Prof. Klinkner

Annegret Möller

Prof. Krabbe

Barbara Klett


Dr. Thomas Wegmann


Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart

Tel. +49 711 685-69604
Fax +49 711 685-63596

Directly to




Prof. Dr. Stefanos Fasoulas


Dear partners and friends of the IRS,
dear visitors of our website,

On the 26th of October 2011, the Space Center Baden-Wuerttemberg (RZBW) was inaugurated. Since then, the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) has been located within the RZBW. This enlargement provided an adequate working environment to the growing number of about 170 employees. The institute’s research activities have been enhanced due to the new state-of-the-art labs in the RZBW. At present, we offer a wide range of fascinating research topics in the fields of space technologies and applications, combined with accompanying lectures, practical trainings, and exercise seminars. Together with over 60 PhD students, we are working in close cooperation with domestic and international partners from industry and research institutions. For example, the University of Stuttgart has an official branch office with the SOFIA project within the NASA Center in California, U.S.A.

Furthermore, we offer events and guided tours on appointment.

Kind regards,
Stefanos Fasoulas


Main Activities (in alphabetical order):



Numerical simulation of aerothermodynamic loads on space vehicles during atmospheric entry of different bodies with regard to the thermochemical relaxation processes in the gaseous phase and the real gas-surface-interaction as well as the gas radiation during hypersonic entry.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Stefanos Fasoulas and Dr. Georg Herdrich

Astronautics and Space Stations:

Simulation of complete systems and subsystems of space stations, methodology and computer tools for the system design of complex orbital systems, payload accommodation on board space stations, analysis of the natural and artificially induced space station environment, design of space station experiments particularly in the area of in-situ gas measurement technology.

Contact: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Reinhold Ewald

Chemical Propulsion:

The research is organized in cooperation with DLR, Institute of Space Propulsion, location Lampoldshausen. All research and activities relating to rocket testing are now grouped together at the Lampoldshausen location. The current research includes a focus on the fundamentals of combustion processes in liquid rocket engines and pneumatic propulsion for future space transportation systems. Germany’s facilities for testing rocket propulsion, main stage engines, and upper stage engines under realistic conditions are unparalleled in Europe.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Stefan Schlechtriem

Cosmic Dust:

Design and construction of instruments, qualification, operation and analysis of data for the measurement of interplanetary and interstellar dust.

Contact: Dr. Ralf Srama

Infrared Astronomy:

The stratospheric research airplane SOFIA and instruments developed at IRS are being used to work on questions of star development, the interstellar medium, and exoplanets. The German SOFIA Institute (DSI) is a competence centre for airborne astronomy. 

Contact: Prof. Dr. Alfred Krabbe

Life Sustaining- and Energy Systems:

Studies on future life-sustaining systems with a focus on biological components and their coupling potential with physical systems such as energy supply. Preparations of various qualification tests.

Contact: Dr. Stefan Belz

Measurement Methods:

Development and qualification of measurement methods for characterization of plasmas as well as tested materials (heatshield systems, combustion chamber materials, etc.). Design, development, and qualification of measurement methods and operation condition control systems for measurements during atmospheric reentry maneuvers, in rocket combustion chambers and other high temperature applications. Measurement devices for characterization and monitoring of propulsion systems.

Contact: Dr. Stefan Löhle

Mission and Systems Analysis:

Development of numerical analysis, simulation, and optimization methods for flight performance prediction and design of future space vehicles. In mission and system studies, the flight performance and loads of different launch- and orbital systems as well as reentry vehicles are optimized and flight guidance concepts are developed. Development of a small satellite as reentry vehicle.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Stefanos Fasoulas

Nanostructures and Mesoscopic Systems:

Development of nano-structured semiconducting detectors for FIR Heterodyn-spectroscopy for use on board SOFIA and satellites. Examination of new materials. Theoretical investigation of electron transport phenomena in small structures.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Alfred Krabbe

Plasma Technology:

Development of plasma generators and -systems for material coating, -refinement and pollutant disposal. Depending on the specification profile, different plasma generator types are being used.

Contact: Dr. Georg Herdrich

Small Satellites and Instruments:

Design, Construction and Operation of Small Satellites:
"Flying Laptop" in LEO and Lunar Mission BW1 to the moon. Operation of a Satellite Ground Station. Development of Satellite Bus Technology. Instrument Development with smart sensors for in-situ instruments and sensors as well as observation instruments (cameras, spectrometers) for remote sensing.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Sabine Klinkner and Dr. Michael Lengowski

Space Transportation Technology:

Development of Arcjet propulsion in the power range of 0,5 kW und 1 MW; analyses of ion propulsion; development and operation of plasma wind tunnels for qualification of numerical methods and heatshield materials for reentry vehicles, interplanetary sondes and rocket combustion chambers.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Stefanos Fasoulas and Dr. Georg Herdrich 

Facilities (in alphabetic order):


  • Laboratory for electrical space propulsion und plasma wind tunnels
  • Laboratory for high temperature superconductivity
  • Laboratory for life safety, energy- and sensor systems
  • Laboratory for cosmic dust
  • Mechanical factory
  • Space electronics laboratory
  • Satellite ground station and control room; Satellite integration rooms, satellite testing facilities and simulation environment
  • SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) and laboratory for accompanying instruments
  • Sojus simulator

Various computer networks