Research for Defense and Security

The Institute

Fraunhofer FHR is one of the leading and largest research institutes in Europe in the area of high frequency and radar techniques. For its partners, the institute develops customized concepts, techniques and systems for electromagnetic sensors from the microwave range through to the lower terahertz range.

At Fraunhofer FHR, research activities focus on high frequency sensors for high-precision range or position determination as well as imaging systems with resolutions of up to 3.75 mm. The application spectrum of these devices ranges from reconnaissance, surveillance and protection systems to real-time capable sensors for traffic and navigation as well as quality assurance and non-destructive testing. The systems from Fraunhofer FHR are renowned for their reliability and robustness: radar and millimeter wave sensors are ideal for complex tasks, also under critical ambient conditions. They operate under high temperatures, in the presence of vibrations or in zero visibility conditions caused by dense smoke, steam or fog. Hence, radar and related high-frequency systems are also key technologies for defense and security. Fraunhofer FHR has supported the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) in this area since the foundation of the institute in 1957.

The techniques and systems developed at Fraunhofer FHR are used, on the one hand, to conduct research on new technologies and designs. On the other hand, the institute – in cooperation with companies, authorities and other public bodies – develops prototypes that are designed to master currently unsolved challenges. Here, the specific focus lies on the maturity of the systems and their suitability for mass production, thus ensuring that they can – in cooperation with a partner – be quickly transformed into a finished product. Thanks to its interdisciplinary constellation, the institute has the technical expertise that is required to cover the entire value chain extending from consulting and studies to the development and production of a pilot series. The technologies used range from traditional waveguide techniques to highly-integrated silicon-germanium chips with frequencies of up to 300 GHz.

The ability to carry out non-contact measurements and penetrate materials opens up numerous possibilities for the localization of objects and persons. Due to their special capabilities resulting from the progress in miniaturization and digitalization, the high frequency sensors from Fraunhofer FHR are an affordable and attractive option for a growing number of application areas.

Strategic orientation

Fraunhofer FHR offers its profound expertise in the business units Defense, Space, Human and Environment, Traffic, Security and Production.

The cooperation between the business unit Defense and the Federal Ministry of Defence together with its subordinate authorities is a central pillar of the activities at Fraunhofer FHR. The cooperation between the business unit Space and the German Armed Forces was also strengthened through the WRIS project (Space Identification Sensor): Fraunhofer FHR regularly supplies the German Space Situational Awareness Center of the German Armed Forces with analysis and observation data for space objects. This data is acquired with the help of the space observation radar TIRA.

In its business units Traffic, Security and Production, Fraunhofer FHR continues its successful cooperation with partners from business and industry. The business unit Environment was thematically expanded and is now called »Human and Environment«. In addition to geomonitoring systems, the unit will also focus on the development of solutions in the areas of ambient assisted living and medical treatment.