Modeling of an airborne wind energy system with a flexible tether model for the optimization of landing trajectories


Autonomous takeoff and landing is a big challenge in the field of airborne wind energy. We propose numerical methods in order to optimize flight trajectories of a tethered aircraft. These flight trajectories yield a baseline for analyzing takeoff or landing performance. In this paper, we optimize for a landing strategy that uses the winch to decelerate the aircraft after touchdown. A complete optimal control formulation with differential algebraic equations for the system dynamics is derived. For avoiding tether collision with the ground, we employ a quasi-static tether model that treats both the tether sag and elasticity. It is a novelty in airborne wind energy trajectory optimization to solve for the tether shape as part of the optimization problem.

Proceedings of the 20th World Congress The International Federation of Automatic Control
Jonas Koenemann
PhD Researcher

Interested in robotics and control for robotic applications.