The compound aircraft technology was developed by aerospace engineer Dr. Alexander Köthe at the Technische Universität Berlin. As Chief Engineer at Project AlphaLink, he is in charge of the design of the individual aircraft and the development of the joint technology to connect these aircraft. Alex also works on the flight control system to enable autonomous coupling or decoupling in flight mode and to guarantee the autonomous operation of the joint flight formation.
Dr. Daniel Cracau manages the project. His diverse professional experiences from academia, the private sector and international organizations complement the engineering excellence behind Project AlphaLink. Daniel’s responsibilities are strategy, project planning, and administration.
Partners and Cooperations
AlphaLink is part of the Hardware Club and an associated project to the Explorer Initiatives of German Aerospace Center (DLR Space Management).
We currently cooperate with TU Berlin and are listed in the Map of the Space Industry in Berlin Brandenburg.
Project AlphaLink is member of the StarTUp Incubator of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, TU Berlin, and is kindly supported by Berlin Partner for Business and Technology as part of the Cluster Transport, Mobility and Logistics in the Capital Region.
The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy recognized Project AlphaLink in its publication “…mit Drohnen” on the impact of drones on the German society and economy.
The compound aircraft technology developed at the TU Berlin was awarded the 1st prize at the 2019 German Aerospace Innovation Award in the category “Fliegen neu Denken” (Flying Outside the Box). Our CTO Alexander Köthe received the prize during the Digital Aviation Conference taking place at June 6, 2019, in Berlin.
Chief Engineer Alexander Köthe informed the audience about the latest developments during the HAPS4ESA Workshop in Leiden in February 2019. The AlphaLink approach of coupled aircraft stood out among a range of conventional HAP technologies and programs presented at the event.
In first meeting of the Joint European Disruptive Inititiave (J.E.D.I.) in Berlin, AlphaLink urged the need to further explore future space applications based on a common ground.
In the focus session on HAP technologies, AlphaLink contributed to the ESA Earth Observation Φ-week on EO Open Science and FutureEO in a 20-minute presentation.
At the IAC 2018 in October in Bremen, AlphaLink was selected to participate in the IAF Startup Pitch Session as one of ten startups from all over the world.
In July 2018, AlphaLink won the 3rd prize in the Life Sciences & Technology category of the Research to Market Challenge.
At the ILA Berlin Airshow in April 2018, AlphaLink exhibited a prototype of its integrated flight control system Smart FC(R) and informed visitors about the technology of unmanned connected aircraft. The two co-founders Alex and Daniel also gave on-stage talks at the ILA Future Lab and the ILA CareerCenter. In a 3-minute report broadcasted by RBB Abendschau, AlphaLink celebrated its first appearance on TV on April 27, 2018.
In an invited talk, Daniel Cracau represented AlphaLink in front of international visitors from the Space Community at the New Space Vision Conference 2018 in Berlin.
AlphaLink was awarded Innovative Drone Hero Europe 2018 at the Commercial Expo UAV Europe in Amsterdam. In the contests among participants from 13 European countries, the unique approach and the potential of AlphaLink convinced the jury: “Although it is still in a concept phase, the solution of Alphalink is very innovative. Their pitch was the best overall. They have found a very specific innovation, that could be a real game changer when implemented successfully. This is innovation at its best, no doubt.”
At the International Aerospace Exhibition and Conference (ILA) 2016 in Berlin, Germany, Project AlphaLink exhibited under the former project name X-Pede 2. See Interview (German)
Katalog Deutscher Raumfahrtakteure (KaRA): Collection of the German Space Community (March 2019)
DRONE INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: “The Commercial Drones Industry: Global Outlook 2019” (January 2019)
MAGAZINE B: No. 71 DJI (January 2019)
CES Las Vegas: “Berlin: Moving Mobility to the Next Level” (January 16, 2019)
Berlin to Go: “Berliner Startup gewinnt beim Drone Hero Europe“, Issue 02/2018 (July 2018)
Unmanned Systems Technology: “Size matters. Advances in a range of technologies are enabling UAV designers to develop ever-smaller craftsue 021“, Issue 021 (August/September 2018)
DRONES Magazin: Issue 04/2018 (June 1, 2018)
Drone Industry Map (2018)
Courier: “Berlin: ready for lift-off“, Issue 22 (April 2018)
New Space Berlin: The Space Industry in the German Capital Region
SPACE NEWS: “How close are high-altitude platforms to competing with satellites?” (October 26, 2017)
SPACE NEWS: “Germany wants more space startups but entrepreneurs struggle for liftoff” (October 24, 2017)