Shape and Topology Optimization for Bridled Rigid Airfoils

The PhD shall develop efficient computational methods to optimize large scale, yet lightweight rigid wings that are bridled to the tether.

Project

The ESR shall develop efficient computational methods to optimize large scale, yet lightweight rigid wings that are bridled to the tether. These wings shall withstand high wing loading and still have a high lift to drag ratio and maneuverability. The optimization tools will involve a combination of models from structural mechanics, involving both the wings and tether elasticity, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Using adjoint-based deriva- tives, both the static and dynamic response of the system can be optimized, as well as its passive stability properties in order to meet the objective and constraints relevant for AWE systems. The tools shall be tested by investigating different possible wing topologies such as different numbers of bridles, extra control surfaces, or asymmetric wing shapes. A two meter wing span prototype shall be built and tested using the launch platform at ALU-FR indoors and at Ampyx Power outdoors.

PhD Researcher

Supervisor

Prof. Moritz Diehl, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), 15% FTE involvement as training coordinator and leader of WP2, holder of ERC StG on High-Altitude Wind Power Generators. Co-Editor of Springer book on Airborne Wind Energy. Supervisor of 7 PhD students and 4 postdocs. Prof. Moritz Diehl recently moved from KUL to ALU-FR, therefore he has a double affiliation to ALU-FR and KUL.