Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

DLR Institute for Software Technology

The Institute for Software Technology is a research institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). It is represented at the DLR sites Cologne-Porz, Braunschweig, Oberpfaffenhofen and Berlin-Adlershof.

Research tasks

The tasks of the Institute for Software Technology are research and development in the field of innovative software technologies. The current main topics are software for distributed and intelligent systems, artificial intelligence, software for embedded systems, scientific visualization, quantum computing and high-performance computing.

The increasingly complex software landscape requires new approaches to make systems controllable and avoid error states with serious consequences. A core task of the Institute for Software Technology is to develop processes, through its own research and in cooperation with project partners, that enable stable software solutions for the future

The technologies developed at the institute are used in all DLR research areas, from space flight, aviation, transport and energy to digitization and security research. More than 90% of the institute's products are open source software and can therefore be used outside DLR without restrictions.

In addition to its own research, the institute offers training in software engineering procedures for employees of other DLR institutes or other research facilities of the Helmholtz Association.


The Institute for Software Technology is divided into three departments in addition to the management level:

  • The department High-Performance Computing researches efficient scalable algorithms and data structures for highly parallel computers of the future. Other topics include efficient management and high-performance analysis of large amounts of data as well as research in quantum computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence for software solutions in all DLR topic areas. The department consists of three research groups: "Intelligent Algorithms and Optimization", "Quantum Computing" and "Parallel Numerics".

  • The department Intelligent and Distributed Systems conducts research in the areas of distributed and distributed software systems, intelligent and knowledge-based software systems, artificial intelligence, as well as software engineering and software analytics. The department is further divided into the research groups "Distributed Software Systems", "Intelligent Software Systems", "Software Engineering" and "Human Factors in Software Engineering".

  • The department Software for Space Systems and Interactive Visualization deals with the exploration of robust space software, from mission planning to on-board control. This work is complemented by the development of analysis methods of interactive visualization, e.g. using virtual and augmented reality. The department is divided into the research groups "Modelling and Simulation", "Onboard Software Systems", "Scientific Visualisation" and "3D Interaction".


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