Flying Steady and in Control

22 February 2022

New insights for roll control when flying a two-line kite

  • Luke Roeven

UC Mechanical Engineering student, Luke Roeven, demonstrates new insight into the dynamics of two-line kites with a recent publication in the International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics. Kites are progressively being adopted into new applications of energy generation and ship propulsion. This new research provides better understanding at the key factors that determine stable flight and can help inform the design of new and more maneuverable kites. 

Since the development of the modern two-line kites of the early 1970’s, various industries have been utilizing this technology for an array of different use cases, not limited to new applications of energy generation and ship propulsion. While advancements continue to flourish, there exists a gap in academic literature concerning the limited understanding of the nuances involved in achieving stable flight of two-line kites. This has led Luke Roeven and team to investigate a new dynamic plant model that focuses on roll control input and stability regions. These advancements are expected to help gain an understanding of the steering control mechanism of two-line kites which can promote optimized designs for new and more maneuverable kites.

To best capture the elements involved with this project, the research team used a two-line four attachment point disk kite and implemented a Newton-Euler formulation model. Validated wind tunnel data for the model was utilized to confirm the aerodynamic forces and moments. To capture the stability measurements, the team analysed a range of elevation and roll angle values. Results of this analysis provided the first insights about the influence of design and flight control parameters on ensuring stable flight conditions. Furthermore, the model can simulate the transient dynamics that are introduced by changing wind conditions or operator activities. Details into the model and subsequent analyses can be examined within the complete article, found here

The UC Mechanical Engineering department is always pleased to see the innovations being generated by our students and faculty along with the impact they are making in scholarly publications. We are excited to see the future developments that come out of this project.  



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