Research Projects

Automation Technology

  • Mittelstand 4.0 competence center Hannover
    The “Mit uns digital! Das Zentrum für Niedersachsen und Bremen” is the first of eleven centers that are currently being developed throughout Germany to support medium-sized enterprises and craftsmen’s businesses in their digital transformation with well-prepared information, examples and qualification.
    Year: 2017
    Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
    Duration: 12/15–11/18
  • PhoenixD - Electrical integration of optical networks
    Implementing optical precision systems quickly and cost-effectively using additive manufacturing: This is the vision of PhoenixD. In this subproject, research is conducted on the production of planar optical network structures. The optical coupling of the light sources to the optical waveguide, which is printed or dispensed, for example, is one of the research questions to be solved. Here, precise mounting and alignment to the end face of the waveguide is of enormous importance.
    Led by: Birger Reitz
    Year: 2019
    Duration: 01/2019 - 06/2023
  • DIGITRUBBER - Data mining and AI for optimized cross-process control
    As part of the collaborative project "Digital Rubber Processing - Using Extrusion as an Example" (DIGITRUBBER), an online characterization of the processed rubber compound is being developed by combining new measurement technology approaches, classical modeling and machine learning. This is intended to ensure production at optimum quality while reducing waste.
    Led by: M. Sc. Sebastian Leineweber
    Year: 2021
    Funding: BMBF
    Duration: 04/2021 – 03/2024


  • OPTAVER – Research group optical assembly and connection technology for optical bus systems
    The research focus of the sub-project TP1 of the research group OPTAVER is the conditioning of flexible substrates for the application of optical waveguides.
    Year: 2015
    Funding: DFG
    Duration: 2015-2021
  • PhoenixD - Flexographic printing of optical networks
    The PhoenixD research vision is to implement precision optical systems resource and cost-effectively by using additive manufacturing technology. For this purpose, researchers from mechanical engineering, physics, electrical engineering, computer science and chemistry intend to work together on the simulation, production and application of optical systems. So far, such systems usually consist of glass-based components tediously assembled in small batches, often even by hand. Experts from the various disciplines will aim to work together on a digitized production system that can realize individualized products. In this subproject, the production of planar optical network structures is being researched. For this purpose, a classic printing processes, the flexo printing, is used to enable a cost-effective production. Flexographic printing is a high-pressure process which is usually used for the printing of packaging. A printing plate that is clamped onto a cylinder works similarly to a stamp. The projecting structures, which were structured according to the desired print motif, are first moistened with paint. The subsequent rolling then leaves the desired coating with lacquer on the substrate. The possibility of manufacturing electronic circuits by means of printing has recently been examined. In this sub-project, flexographic printing is now used to also explore the realization of optical functions. Flexographic printing provides the advantage that the process has a very large throughput (up to 15,000 sheets per hour) and thus very low cost per sheet can be realized. Furthermore, flexographic printing machines are also available all over the world in large quantities, so that a proven production process is industrially feasible. Funded by: the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy within the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD (EXC 2122, Project ID 390833453)
    Led by: Keno Pflieger
    Year: 2019
    Duration: 01/2019 - 06/2023
  • OptiK-Net
    The BMBF project OptiK-Net comprises the possibility of integrating flexible optical conductor structures into the manufacturing process of conventional printed circuit boards in an application- and industry-oriented manner. Optical waveguides in electronic structures are considered difficult to implement in industry, but offer advantages and design possibilities over printed circuit boards with electrical conductor paths. In particular, their high bandwidth and low sensitivity to interference allow new solutions in communication networks. In the OptiK-Net project, obstacles are addressed to enable innovative industrial applications by implementing an exemplary process chain for the manufacture of an optoelectronic rigid-flex printed circuit boards. Within this process chain, two new approaches will be pursued: direct printing of optical waveguides and their direct integration into electrical circuit boards. For the direct printing of optical waveguides, flexographic printing, gravure printing and screen printing are considered as conventional printing processes. These processes enable a high output of similar waveguide structures, so that they can be evaluated with regard to their quality and capability as an industrial process. By integrating them into a rigid-flex composite, the communication of decoupled electrical circuits can be realized.
    Led by: M. Sc. Andreas Evertz
    Year: 2019
    Funding: BMBF
    Duration: 10/19 - 09/22
    © ITA
  • 3D-multi layer prints of Mechatronic Integrated Devices
    In the 3D-MLD project, additive manufacturing for the generative production of multilayer circuits on spatial components is investigated. The novel approach is based on an alternating coating of the component surface with functional inks and local laser processing. Besides the laser sintering of conductor paths, laser ablation of the insulating coating enables the generation of vertical interconnect accesses in between the layers.
    Led by: Ejvind Olsen
    Year: 2021
    Funding: BMWi
    Duration: 04/2021 – 03/2023
  • 3D-MosquitOprint
    3D-MosquitOprint researches the integration of optically transparent waveguides in cavities on three-dimensional circuit carriers. The manufacturing process is based on the Mosquito method, in which a light-conducting core is dispensed into a liquid cladding polymer. Afterwards, the structure is cured by UV light. For use as electro-optical hybrid components, there are also investigations into efficient coupling between manufactured waveguides and diodes. For this purpose, the end surfaces are prepared and assembled with diodes.
    Led by: M. Sc. Laura Fütterer
    Year: 2022
    Funding: AiF (IGF)
    Duration: 07/22 – 06/24

Production in Space

  • Setup of an active drop tower
    As part of the establishment of the Hannover Institute of Technology (HITec), an active drop tower, the Einstein-Elevator is being set up by the Institute of Transport and Automation Technology (ITA). The design, development and construction of the facility are being carried out in collaboration with the QUEST Leibniz Research School (QUEST-LFS) and the Institute of Quantum Optics (IQ). The aim is to be able to carry out experiments under conditions of microgravity, but also under different partial gravity conditions such as those on the Moon or Mars.
    Led by: Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Lotz
    Year: 2011
    Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG) and Lower Saxony state gouvernment
    Duration: since 10/2011
  • Experiment carrier for the Einstein-Elevator
    An essential Component of the Einstein Elevator at the Hannover Institute of Technology (HITec) is an experiment carrier, that is used inside the Einstein Elevators gondola. In collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Institute for Transport and Automation Technology is developing a low-vibration carrier. The aim is to use the system to carry out various experiments under microgravity.
    Led by: M. Sc. Richard Sperling
    Year: 2020
    Funding: DLR-SI
    Duration: 08.2020-07.2023
  • Laser-based additive manufacturing of metal parts from powder in microgravity
    The aim of this research project is the development of a laser-based additive manufacturing process for the production of metal parts from powder in microgravity. The approach is based on the "Laser Metal Deposition" (LMD) process known for earth gravity.
    Led by: M. Sc. Marvin Raupert
    Year: 2021
    Funding: DFG
    Duration: 07.2021 - 06.2024
  • Dark Energy Search with Atom Interferometry in the Einstein-Elevator
    The collaboration DESIRE uses the free-fall simulator Einstein-Elevator for dark energy search with atom interferometry. For this purpose the apparatus MAIUS-A will be reconstructed with a specialized test mass and afterwards operated in microgravity.
    Led by: M. Sc. Alexander Heidt
    Year: 2021
    Funding: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
    Duration: 01.04.2021 bis 31.03.2024
  • Levitated Magnets for Quantum Metrology
    This project aims at a systematic investigation of sensors based on levitated micromagnets, which allow to measure ultra-low torques and magnetic fields, demonstrating an unprecedented energy resolution.
    Led by: M. Sc. Alexander Heidt
    Year: 2022
    Funding: QuantERA Project of the EU
    Duration: 01.01.2022 bis 01.12.2024
  • Activity of comets under partial gravity
    Cometary activity, which in this case refers to the ejection of dust from the surface, can be simulated in the laboratory, but more than a thousand times Earth's gravity overrides the gravity prevailing on comets. With the help of the Einstein-Elevator it will be possible to perform experiments under comet-like conditions.
    Led by: M. Sc. Emre Tahtali
    Year: 2022
    Funding: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
    Duration: 01.08.2022 bis 31.07.2025

Transport Technology

  • Future Conveyor Drive - Monetary and ecological belt conveyor optimisation by means of driven idlers
    Within the framework of this research project, the monetary and ecological optimisation of belt conveyor systems by means of driven idlers is being investigated. With help of a specially developed co-simulation environment, their influence on the operating behaviour and dynamic system stability of belt conveyor systems is analysed. The aim is to develop a selection logic for determining the optimised use of driven idlers for industry.
    Led by: Carsten Schmidt, M. Sc.
    Year: 2022
    Funding: AIF
    Duration: 01.08.2022 – 31.07.2024