Metropolregion Hamburg

InKa – innovative cabin systems

Cabins and Cabin SystemsEco-EfficiencyLeading-Edge Cluster Competition

With the InKa project, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is pursuing the goal of optimising modular components in the air supply system inside the aircraft, thereby improving both efficiency and comfort in the aircraft cabin.


InKa, or Innovative Cabin Systems, is a network project from within the flagship project “Cabin technology and multifunctional fuel cells” within Hamburg Aviation’s Leading-Edge Cluster strategy. It is lead by DLR’s Department of Aviation and Space Psychology and consists of two subprojects. 

The aim of the first subproject, “Passenger-optimised cabin systems” is to optimise the supply of air into the cabin in order to achieve a significant improvement both in the thermal comfort of passengers and in energy efficiency. The specific plan involves evaluating the comfort effect of displacement ventilation in combination with innovative cabin air outlets. 

In DLR’s Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, an existing cabin mock-up (Do 728) was equipped with innovative cabin air outlets in a displacement ventilation system. In controlled trials with this special air conditioning setup, the flow effect, energy consumption and resultant comfort effect were determined, with the help of estimates provided by test subjects. The project team in Department of Aviation and Space Psychology conducted questionnaires with test persons. The data from 120 persons in three trials are available and currently being analysed. The evaluation criteria to be used are currently being compiled and the comfort effects of mixing ventilation and displacement ventilation in the aircraft cabin are being compared.

The second subproject, “Efficient Fuel Cell Systems”, is being carried out by DLR’s Institute of Technical Thermodynamics | Electrochemical Energy Technology.  The focus here is on the integration of the functionality of the fuel cell energy (FCE) system developed for aircraft applications in the DLR-ATRA research aircraft, taking into account all interfaces to the cabin, energy management and exhaust air utilisation. Alongside a study on the integration of FCE systems in aircraft, work is being done to determine and produce specifications for electrical final energy needs, qualification guidelines for electrical systems, “particular risks” guidelines for the integration of hydrogen tanks, and procedures for fault detection.  An FCE system configuration and architecture to increase the dynamic of electrical energy production has been put in place, and test systems and test beds have been constructed and adapted to facilitate performing negative pressure measurements.  The experimental validation of the operating parameters for interface definition will be completed in subsequent work.


Dr. Claudia Marggraf-Micheel, ,+49 [0]40-51 30 96 21


German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Department of Aviation and Space Psychology

Sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Leading-Edge Cluster strategy