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Philipp Maier


Research Associate
Institute of Space Systems (IRS)


Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart
Room: 1.34

Office Hours

by appointment


Atmospheric Entry Technologies

  • Experimental Characterisation of (structural) material demise behaviour during uncontrolled atmospheric entries (Design for Demise).
  • Experimental Characterisation of ablative thermal protection system materials.
  • Mission analysis of atmospheric re-entry scenarios (controlled and destructive)
  • Coordination of the student nano-satellite project CubeSat Atmospheric Probe for Education (CAPE)
  • One peer-reviewed article (as of December 2017).
  • 31 conference papers in total, 12 of which as main author (as of December 2017).
  • (Co-)author of more than ten technical reports and technical notes (as of December 2017).

List of publications and supervised student theses

Lectures in the context of the course "Wiedereintrittstechnologie / Atmospheric Entry Technology" (Master course) by PD Dr.-Ing. G. Herdrich during the winter semester:

  • Ablative Thermal Protection Systems
  • Design for Demise (D4D)

As of June 2017, supervision of 16 Bachelor and Master theses in total under the professorial responsibility of PD Dr.-Ing. Georg Herdrich with the following topics:

  • Experimental, analytical and computational characterisation of material behaviours in the context of atmospheric entry manoeuvres (e.g. material demise or ablation behaviour, modelling of ablation phenomena, experimental and inverse determination of material properties)
  • Mission and system analyses and studies for re-entry missions (e.g. CAPE, uncontrolled and destructive entry scenarios)
  • Design and optimisation of test facilities and measurement techniques for the investigation of various re-entry phenomena (e.g. E-CHAMB, plasma wind tunnel probes, laser-based photogrammetry)
  • System studies for electric (Pulsed Plasma Thrusters) and unconventional (fusion-based) space propulsion systems
  • Design of flight experiment components and procedures (e.g. for CAPE and its precursor sounding rocket-based mission MIRKA2-RX)

Students that are interested in conducting a Bachelor or Master thesis in the fields of atmospheric entry technology or electric and advanced space propulsion systems are kindly requested to apply to PD Dr.-Ing. Georg Herdrich.

Students that are interested in or already commited to conducting a Bachelor or Master thesis under my supervision will find some useful information and guidelines here:

Information sheet for Bachelor and Master student theses (EN, last updated: 2017-06-12)

  • Characterisation of Demisable Materials (ESA Clean Space Initiative, ESA-TRP 4000109981/13/NL/CP, 2014 to 2017)
  • Rückkehrtechnologien für hochenergetische Bahnen / Return technologies for highly energetic trajectories (DLR@UniST-Initiative, financed by Helmholtz Association, 2014 to 2017)
  • CleanSat BB28: Arcjet Orbit Raising and Deorbit Module (ESA Clean Space Initiative, contract no. 4500541210, 2016 to 2017)
  • CubeSat Atmospheric Probe for Education CAPE (Educational nanosatellite project, pending)
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