Robust Automatic Operation of Airborne Wind Energy Systems

Robust Automatic Operation of Airborne Wind Energy Systems

To be competitive with other renewable energy technologies, robust automatic operation throughout every phase of flight is of paramount importance for AWE systems. The objective of this project is to develop control strategies for reliable operation under realistic environmental conditions. Two different aspects of operation are considered within the scope of this project. Firstly, a control strategy for reliable launching and landing of kite power systems based on flexible wings has been developed. The results show how a kite can be launched under different wind conditions using a separate multicopter system. The landing itself can be accomplished using the winch control system without further external assistance. Secondly, a modular control architecture for rigid wing kite power systems has been developed. Due to the modular architecture, the controller can be partially or as a whole be implemented in existing prototypes. The results show that the developed control strategy can ensure reliable operation in a turbulent and gusty wind field. Industrial as well as academic collaborations within the AWESCO project have contributed to the outcome of this project. Currently, a methodology for the robustness verification and means to estimate the operational envelope of AWE control systems are being developed.

Sebastian Rapp
PhD Researcher

Interested in control system development and data-driven approaches for performance verification of complex control systems.


(2017). Towards Robust Automatic Operation of Rigid Wing Kite Power Systems. Book of Abstracts of the International Airborne Wind Energy Conference (AWEC 2017).

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