Completed Research Projects

Correlative measurement technology (2018-2021)

(Kopie 1)

The number of satellites brought into orbit has increased significantly in recent years. This is partly due to the fact that our lives are increasingly dependent on satellite-based products and services such as the Internet and mobile communications. If one of the satellite components fails, the entire satellite is usually unusable and floats around as space debris. This is why it is important to carefully test the installed components under space conditions. This is done, for example, by using thermal vacuum chambers which can simulate the temperatures prevailing in space in addition to the vacuum. In terms of sustainability, the repair of defective components in space is desirable. For this, however, the exact interaction, especially the expansion behaviour, of the individual components must be known. In order to precisely determine the expansion behaviour, measurements of the components must be carried out under the appropriate storage conditions. By comparing the measurements with simulations, the measuring effort for further parts can be minimized in a further step.

The aim of the research project is to predict, measure and verify the expansion and loading of satellite components under space conditions. On the one hand, the exact temperature expansion within the vacuum chamber is to be determined. On the other hand, in a first step, the total deformation and the temperature field expansion of homogeneous individual parts are to be mapped and measured. A suitable measuring system for the representation of deformations in the micrometer range will be developed and validated using a 3D scanner. Subsequently, design rules for optimal component design under space conditions are derived from the results obtained.

The environmental campus cooperates with the Rhineland-Palatinate company JUST Vakuum Technik from Landstuhl, which deals with the construction of space simulation chambers, i.e. thermal vacuum chambers which can simulate the temperatures prevailing in space (in the range of approx. -175 to +200°C) in addition to the vacuum. In a first step, a small experimental setup will be designed at the environmental campus and investigations carried out with the available 3D scan systems. For the generation of space conditions (vacuum, temperatures) the project is supported by Prof. Trapp. In a next step the gained knowledge will be transferred to a thermal vacuum chamber of the company Just and measurements will be carried out.

Consortium: Trier University of Applied Sciences (Environmental Campus Birkenfeld), Just Vacuum GmbH
Duration: 01.02.2018 - 31.01.2021
Supported by: Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur, Rheinland Pfalz
Funding amount: 151.371,75 €
Responsible: Prof. Dr. Michael Wahl

Our Common Future: Can sustainable products be produced using additive manufacturing? (2018-2020)

The project, funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, deals with the research question: "Can sustainable products be produced with the aid of additive manufacturing (3D printers)?" It is planned to inspire the students of the Johannes-Kepler-Gymnasium in Lebach with current sustainability research. By printing out everyday products with recycled plastic material, the pupils are to develop knowledge-based answers.

To this end, various plastics (e.g. waste from 3D printing, packaging materials) are first shredded, melted and extruded into plastic material (filament) for 3D printing. By varying the proportion of recycled and new material, the pupils are shown possibilities to influence the production possibilities in their research. Tensile specimens are produced from the various mixtures and material parameters are determined and evaluated experimentally.

For example, it will be investigated whether it is possible to recycle PET bottles for 3D printing. Subsequently, new and recycled material is used to produce spare parts using 3D scanning and 3D printing. Defective parts are captured with the existing 3D scanners, reworked and printed out as spare parts. Finally, the findings are summarized and presented to the public.

Consortium: Trier University of Applied Sciences (Environmental Campus Birkenfeld), Johannes-Kepler-Gymnasium, Lebach
Duration: August 2018 - June 2020
Supported by: Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Our Common future
Funding amount: 18.850 €
Responsible: Prof. Dr. Michael Wahl

Remanufacturing (2014-2019)

Resource-efficient production of mechatronic systems through remanufacturing using assistance robots


The research project, carried out in cooperation between the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, SEW-EURODRIVE GmbH & Co KG and the University of Luxembourg, deals with the development of recycling concepts and remanufacturing processes for economical and ecological production using the example of mechatronic drives. When investigating the problem, the processes for non-destructive dismantling in particular turned out to be uneconomical. Attempts to automate the dismantling process failed due to the variance of the product shape or the unpredictable condition of the product. Only non-destructive dismantling offers the advantage of higher-quality product recycling and thus the possibility of economic and ecological remanufacturing

The use of robot assistants is intended to reduce manual work per piece, improve workplace ergonomics and thus reduce dismantling costs. Higher or non-automated activities of added value are left to the worker. With the human-robot cooperation approach, even sub-processes of dismantling that are difficult or impossible to automate can be implemented economically and reliably. The development of the robot assistant focuses on the development of an agent-based control system for human-robot interaction. For this purpose, semantic models of the product structure are developed which describe the structure of the mechatronic drives. The models allow the disassembly to be roughly planned and used by the assistance system as a process flow program. Based on the formal sequence, the assistance system has a context to the situation or task in the current dismantling step and can offer different forms of assistance for this purpose. The human being decides on the type of assistance to be provided on the basis of the product condition and according to his wishes. In order for the cooperation to function effectively, the assistance system must act largely autonomously by independently selecting, parameterizing and executing predefined program modules for the execution of the assistance. For this purpose, the system requires a variety of information, which can also be found in the semantic models.

The work comprises the identification, representation and processing of information in the area (domain) of dismantling as well as the development of software agents that control robot behaviour (i.e. assistance) in a targeted manner on the basis of the information collected. The goal is the development of more powerful robot assistance systems.

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gerke

Partners/Funding: Firma SEW Eurodrive, Bruchsal,  Drittmittelassistent  und Doktorand und Hiwi Mittel

Duration: 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2019

Next Generation Biofilm - the "Rose of Jericho" of Biotechnology (2015-2018)
Additively manufactured multi-skin plate reactor on a laboratory scale
Additively manufactured multi-skin plate reactor on a laboratory scale

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Michael Wahl

Cooperation partner:

  • Dr. Michael Lakatos; Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Groß; Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulber; Kaiserslautern University of Technology
  • Prof. Dr. Timo Schmidt; Augsburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Peter Häfner, engage AG

Funding period: 10/2015 - 08/2018

Grant reference number: 031B0068C

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Food production and the production of energy and recyclables are increasingly competing (plate or tank problems). One of the major challenges for the future is therefore to sustainably meet the growing demand for food, energy and recyclable materials with low consumption of agricultural land, energy and water resources. The sustainable production of proteins (proteins), lipids (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars and polysaccharides) by cyanobacteria, microalgae or plants is of central importance.

Cyanobacteria, for example, harbor an enormous pool of renewable biopharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. However, this potential is hardly tapped since existing production processes are too energy- and resource-intensive.

In contrast, the research project for the first time uses photosynthesizing, drying tolerant biofilms (terrestrial cyanobacteria) for the fog-controlled production of bacterial polysaccharides and dyes. A resource- and energy-efficient process technology is used, which is realized by means of a novel emersen photobioreactor generation (ePBR). The new system solution combines the advantages of green biotechnology with those of white / industrial biotechnology to optimize a more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly production process for biopharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.

The main task of the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld at Trier University of Applied Sciences was the constructive further development of the emersen bioreactors.

Requirements required for the growth of cyanobacteria were systematically investigated by the project group and implemented in the reactor construction for the reactor construction at the Environmental Campus. These include, for example, flow simulations for uniform distribution of the liquid mist in the reactors.

The growth of cyanobacteria is directly dependent on the aerosol supply. In areas with insufficient aerosol supply, growth is not possible or only possible to a limited extent. In order to be able to assess the suitability of different concept variants, knowledge about the behaviour of the aerosol inside the reactor is an essential criterion. The simulation methods were first examined on a simple model and the simulation results were compared with real test results and in a next step transferred to more complex designs.

In further development steps, several concept variants were worked out, converted into prototypes and tested. Additive manufacturing was used in particular to manufacture the prototypes. In cooperation with the project partners, cyanobacteria were tested in various reactor forms and, for example, harvesting processes were investigated.

Further information on the project:


Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld
Institut for Operations and Technology Management (IBT)
Campusallee 9925
55768 Hoppstädten-Weiersbach

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