Below you can find detailed information about the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and CBRN Protection (WIS) in Munster. Learn more about its tasks, responsibilities and organizational structure, get contact Details and directions.
The Mission of WIS
The Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and CBRN Protection (WIS) is a departmental research institute of the Federal government and is subordinate to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). It is the only major German institute dealing with protection against the effects of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction.
The purpose of CRBN defense in the Bundeswehr and WIS in particular is to protect Bundeswehr personnel against such munitions. This also involves taking into account the dangers of international terrorism and the technical deficiencies in the theaters of operations as well as potential collateral damage in the vicinity of nuclear power plants and chemical industry facilities, which is just as important.
Other research areas pursued by WIS include fire protection technology, water treatment and protection against strong electromagnetic fields.
In addition, WIS contributes to covering the demand for CBRN and fire protection equipment in the Bundeswehr. In order to support the determination of requirements and the satisfaction of demand in the Bundeswehr, the Institute provides technical contributions in the form of studies, demonstrations or tests. With its competence, WIS ensures, at a national level, that the risks caused to the Bundeswehr by CBRN weapons can be properly assessed.
Tasks of WIS
With its about 200 specialists, most of them qualified natural scientists, WIS performs the following tasks:
- Management tasks associated with the planning, fielding and service use of defense material for CBRN and fire protection;
- Integrated compliance demonstration (CBRN / fire protection and water purification);
- Processing and independent performance of research and technology projects in the fields of CBRN and fire protection as well as
- electromagnetic impacts.
- Operation of Hazardous Substance Measurement Office North
- Operation of the reference laboratory for the Chemical Weapons Convention
- Operation of the Central Collection Point for Bundeswehr radioactive waste
- Representation of the armaments organization at national and international panels in all matters relating to CBRN and fire protection
- Training and instruction of the troops (combat service support) in all matters relating to CBRN protection.
Furthermore, WIS supports the Bundeswehr in matters of environmental protection, radiation protection as well as occupational safety and health.
Areas of Activity
WIS operates numerous biological, chemical and physical laboratories, pilot plants and large-scale test facilities which conduct a broad spectrum of tests.
CBRN detection systems are used for detecting, identifying and providing proof of nuclear radiation as well as biological and chemical warfare agents.
WIS conducts fundamental scientific studies on new or improved detection methods. In addition, it develops laboratory prototypes and tests prototypes manufactured by industry with respect to their performance and their suitability for Bundeswehr operations. The Institute makes pertinent recommendations and participates in the procurement of CBRN detection systems.
A soldier's personal protective equipment essentially consists of the CBRN protective mask and the overgarment, i.e. the CBRN defense suit. Operations in hot climatic zones as well as new threat scenarios require improved protective equipment offering a higher level of protection by enhanced clothing physiology.
To this end, WIS conducts basic scientific research and optimizes laboratory prototypes in close cooperation with industry. Once this equipment has been introduced into the Bundeswehr, WIS performs accompanying government quality assurance inspections to ensure that the achieved performance potential is maintained.
Bundeswehr defense materiel must be hardened against nuclear weapons effects. This means that it must withstand all nuclear weapons effects from ground zero up to specified distances and that its essential functions must remain operational. Electromagnetic fields, in particular, are able to jam or destroy unprotected electronic components of any kind within a large radius. WIS is able to measure the level of protection and provide product-specific recommendations for improvement.
A fire can have a devastating effect. Consequently, the Bundeswehr protects itself against fires and the effects of fires during routine operation and on deployments. The work at WIS focusses on fire detection, fire suppression with automatic fire extinguishing systems and environmentally friendly extinguishing agents for Bundeswehr-specific purposes. In addition to individual technical tests, WIS also conducts full-scale fire tests to demonstrate fire-fighting on the actual object.
Having clean water to drink or use is a vital necessity for all people. But how can clean water be ensured during a Bundeswehr mission in a crisis area or even in a contaminated environment? This special problem is addressed by the Water Treatment Branch of the Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and CBRN Protection (WIS).
Units and mission-essential equipment must immediately be subjected to decontamination if they have been exposed to biological or chemical warfare agents, radioactive fallout or toxic industrial chemicals. This is the only way to minimize harmful effects and restore operational readiness.
The Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and CBRN Protection (WIS) provides technical support to new technical developments by industry and tests CBRN decontamination procedures and equipment. Thanks to WIS’ examination programs and research projects, decontamination agents and procedures are introduced into the Bundeswehr which have a better material compatibility, are more environmentally friendly and pose a smaller logistical burden.
Organizational Structure of WIS
WIS is organized into one staff element, three divisions as well as the "Engineering and Operational Services" and "Economic and Administrative Services" elements.
The staff element covers the essential economic steering instruments of a Government agency through controlling, task planning as well as cost and performance responsibility.
The operational branches are located in the three divisions of WIS. Technical / Operational Services encompasses all operational services, central laboratories and measurement services. Economic / Administrative Services is responsible for all administrative elements of WIS.
The organizational chart of WIS illustrates the Institute’s structure in detail.
How to get to WIS
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WIS is located in Munster, which is right at the A 7 motorway, halfway between Hanover and Hamburg.
Via Highway A 7
- Take the A 7, exit at "Soltau Ost", then follow the B 71 to Munster.
- From Munster, the way to WIS is signposted; just follow the signs saying "Wehrwissenschaft". Leave the B 71 before the first traffic light and turn left into the street “Am Hanloh”. Follow this street until the second junction with traffic lights. For orientation: On the opposite left side you will see a shop called “FAMILA”.
- Turn left at that junction. Shortly afterwards you will cross railway tracks. Having crossed the tracks, continue straight on. The next street to your right is "Humboldtstraße", which takes you to our agency. Once you have crossed a bridge, turn left to reach the main guard building.
Coming from Uelzen
- Take the B 71 towards Munster. At a major junction with traffic lights, turn right into "Lüneburger Straße". Drive straight on through the junction with traffic lights. For orientation: On the opposite left side you will see a shop called “FAMILA”.
- Drive straight on across the railway tracks. Having crossed the tracks, continue straight on. The next street to your right is "Humboldtstraße", which takes you to our agency. Once you have crossed a bridge, turn left to reach the main guard building.
Take a regional train from Uelzen or Bremen to go to Munster. See the Deutsche Bahn homepage for more information regarding your travel. From the Munster railway station, the best way to reach us is by taxi.
You can either fly to Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel or to Hanover. Both airports are about an hour's drive away from Munster.
Traveling by public transport is complicated from either airport.