In this research field current and future concepts for the manned and unmanned exploration of the solar system are being developed.
In the field of modeling and simulation dynamic simulations of Life support systems (LSS) are generated and permanently extended. The core of this endeavour is the Virtual Habitat (V-HAB) life support system simulation. The V-HAB LLS simulation comprises physio-chemical, bioregenerative life support technologies, the habitat environemnt, as well as the human physiology as central pace maker for the entire simulation.
Besides, a simulation environment is being developed that enables dynamic thermal simulation for moving surface-crafts on the lunar surface (TherMoS).
In the future the life support system, the environmental sensitive human model and the thermal environment model will be combined to allow for dynamic analysis of space suits (V-SUIT).
Beside the life support system related computer simulations hardware-experiments are being conducted. These experiments are in the field of high velocity research with focus on accelerator development and micro meteroid impact simulations, as well as the field of thermal and mechanical behaviour of lunar dust.
In the field of lunar in-situ ressource utilization (ISRU) a demonstrator-oven was developed and tested under vacuum-conditions. It is capable of heating lunar regolith simulant material up to temperatures of about 900°C (LUISE). Furthermore, new concepts for heating and releasing volatile compounds from lunar reoglith were develped in LUISE-2. Based on this experience, the Chair of Astronautics is involved in international projects such as PROSPECT & PROSPECT Science Team as well as the Lunar Volatiles Scout, where instruments for in-situ gas analysis on the Moon are being developed.