DLR / ONERA-Team Award für die Umsetzung der wissenschaftlich-technischen
Kooperation DLR / ONERA
auf dem Hubschrauber-Sektor
Jean-Jacques PHILIPPE (ONERA), Bernd GMELIN (DLR)
Despite many promising efforts and
advancements in the past years the aerospace research in Europe is still
fragmented in national units and stays behind the merging industrial movement.
This situation, on the one side limits the effective use of the combined
resources available for aerospace research, on the other side the different
cultural backgrounds in the European nations and the existing competition
between the scientists create precious ideas and unique solutions beneficial to
the quality of the final products. Nevertheless it is common understanding that
international co-ordination, co-operation and finally integration in the field
of aerospace research will contribute to better solve the existing technical and
economical problems, and to strengthen the position of the world-wide aerospace
The German Aerospace Center (DLR)
and the French Aerospace Research Establishment (ONERA) decided for a close
partnership in rotorcraft related research, and consequently an “Agreement on a
DLR-ONERA Partnership in Rotorcraft Research” was signed on 2 December 1998 by
the ONERA President and the DLR Chairman of the Board of Directors. Already in
1992 the “ONERA/DLR Mutual Commitment on Co-ordinated Aeronautical Research” was
signed together with the Technical Annex No. 1 on Rotorcraft Research. Since
that time an increasing number of cooperative tasks was started including bi-
and multilateral activities. This positive development was strongly supported by
(1) the official French-German co-ordination in helicopter research and
technology as formulated in the Common Declaration (1995) by the Ministries and
Official Services of both countries, (2) the establishment of the French/German
company Eurocopter (1992), and (3) the decisions for the joint military
helicopter projects Tiger and NH90.
On this background Jean-Jacques
PHILIPPE and Bernd GMELIN in the past years worked for the integration of all
ONERA and DLR rotorcraft activities.
The decision for a close
partnership in rotorcraft related research was driven by the following general
To advance and promote the intended and progressive integration of European
research in the field of aeronautics. This bi-lateral agreement on a specific
subject was considered to be a first step to further integrate the DLR and ONERA
activities in other technical areas. In addition this partnership is intended to
be open, at least in specific areas, for other European research establishments,
as anticipated in the EREA agreement.
· Considering the European environment of aeronautical research it is the common
interest of both, ONERA and DLR, to act as a single body and to speak with one
voice in front of the public and private partners and customers for the common
With respect to the common research activities it is the main objective to
obtain the best efficiency at minimum cost by avoiding duplications but still
allowing for a certain scientific competition, and by capitalizing on emerging
In pursuing these objectives the
following principles have been strictly observed:
- It is full intention of both partners to create a win-win situation with no
one-sided and unfair shortcoming for one of the partners.
- In general, the partnership is established on a 50% by 50% venture, applied to
the input (resources) as well as to the output (reports, patents, publications).
The financial principles are established on a full cost basis of personnel,
facilities and equipment for both, partners and customers.
- The costs for the use of the facilities and equipment of each partner are based
on a no-money-exchange policy and have to be incorporated in the common research
- All rotorcraft related activities within ONERA and DLR are planned in a common
research programme, even if only one partner is contributing to a specific
this project of the ONERA/DLR partnership the following approach was decided on:
- Installation of a DLR/ONERA management organization in order to co-ordinate,
integrate, and market all rotorcraft related research activities of both
- The new organization works programme/project-oriented with the main objective to
manage vehicle-oriented multidisciplinary projects and tasks.
- The execution of the research work remains in the DLR Institutes and the ONERA
Departments involving the appropriate experts/scientists in the corresponding
In Figure 1 the
general management organization is shown. Two common groups on different levels
have been formed, the Steering Committee at the level of the General Directors
of ONERA and of the Executive Board of DLR, and the Permanent Common Management
Team (PCMT). The PCMT is the acting management group, and was represented by
Bernd GMELIN and Jean-Jacques PHILIPPE from the year 2000 up to 2005. Main
activities of the PCMT include:
of the common mid-term and yearly research programmes,
preparation of a joint business plan (programme, financial plan and time
and financial work sharing between the appropriate research teams,
controlling and reporting the research activities,
and marketing the research programmes in front of official organizations and
oriented multidisciplinary projects and tasks are defined in the so-called
Research Concepts and are handled by research teams formed out of
experts/scientists from the appropriate institutes and departments. The research
teams are composed preferably as joint teams including ONERA and DLR team
members, but also ONERA teams or DLR teams are possible, depending on the
specific research tasks.
Fig. 2 shows
the structure of the common rotorcraft research programme. The joint teams are
managed by one project head, either from ONERA or DLR, with a deputy head from
the other organization.
For the first
time in 1999 the PCMT, together with experts and scientists of the DLR
Institutes and the ONERA Departments, elaborated a DLR-ONERA Mid-term Rotorcraft
Research Programme (1999 - 2003) and subsequently a 2000 Rotorcraft Research
Programme. These programmes have been harmonized and thoroughly discussed within
DLR and ONERA and with the official organizations and the industry. Each year
these programmes are being updated and further improved with respect to the full
integration of all rotorcraft related research at DLR and ONERA.
common research programmes, the mid-term and the yearly programme, consist of
eight Research Concepts, as shown in Figure 3, representing a common yearly
budget of about 20 Million Euros. Each research concept (except ‘The Specialized
Military Rotorcraft’) is headed by two Research Concept Responsables, one from
DLR and one from ONERA.
related information and data available or being produced in this framework by
DLR and ONERA are considered to be internal information and therefore open for
use within DLR and ONERA, with the exception of information and data marked by
the generating organization or by one external partner or customer as “limited
distribution”. New rotorcraft related reports and documents are being produced
in English language.
Finally, it is
the firm intention of both partners and mentioned explicitly in the partnership
agreement that this co-operation respects and considers other existing
co-operations and partnerships of both organizations. In addition new
co-operative agreements with other partners, preferably involving both, DLR and
ONERA, are strongly promoted.
more than 6 years for the DLR/ONERA partnership in rotorcraft research both,
Jean-Jacques PHILIPPE and Bernd GMELIN recently retired, and they hope that this
exemplary research cooperation will continue to prosper and serve as a nucleus
for the integration of aerospace research in Europe.