Skip to main content
Log in

Fault Tolerant Flight Control for the Traction Phase of Pumping Airborne Wind Energy Systems

  • Published:
International Journal of Control, Automation and Systems Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

A fault-tolerant control approach is proposed, for a pumping airborne wind energy system (AWES) comprising a tethered fixed-wing aircraft with integrated propellers for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). First, the flight control design for the traction phase of the system, when the tethered aircraft has to fly in loops using the rudder, is presented. Then, the presence of the propellers, that are normally not used in the traction phase, is exploited to obtain a fault tolerant controller in case of rudder malfunctioning. The approach detects a possible discrete control surface fault and compensates for the loss in actuation by using the VTOL system. A sophisticated model of the system is used to analyse the performance of the proposed technique. The main finding is that the approach is able to handle abrupt rudder faults with high tolerance.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. C. L. Archer and K. Caldeira, “Global assessment of high-altitude wind power,” Energies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 307–319, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. C. L. Archer, L. D. Monache, and D. L. Rife, “Airborne wind energy: Optimal locations and variability,” Renewable Energy, vol. 64, pp. 180–186, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. P. Bechtle, M. Schelbergen, R. Schmehl, U. Zillmann, and S. Watson, “Airborne wind energy resource analysis,” Renewable Energy, vol. 141, pp. 1103–1116, October 2019.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. BVG Associates, “Getting airborne - the need to realise the benefits of airborne wind energy for net zero,” available at https://airbornewindeurope.org, 2022.

  5. L. Fagiano, M. Milanese, and D. Piga, “High-altitude wind power generation,” IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 168–180, March 2010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. K. van Hussen, E. Dietrich, J. Smeltink, K. Berentsen, M. van der Sleen, R. Haffner, and L. Fagiano, Study on Challenges in the Commercialisation of Airborne Wind Energy Systems, European Commission and Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Publications Office of the European Union, 2018.

  7. L. Fagiano, M. Quack, F. Bauer, L. Carnel, and E. Oland, “Autonomous airborne wind energy systems: Accomplishments and challenges,” Annual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 603–631, 2022.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. V. Salma, F. Friedl, and R. Schmehl, “Improving reliability and safety of airborne wind energy systems,” Wind Energy, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 340–356, February 2020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. A. Cherubini, A. Papini, R. Vertechy, and M. Fontana, “Airborne wind energy systems: A review of the technologies,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., vol. 51, pp. 1461–1476, November 2015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. O. Tulloch, A. K. Amiri, H. Yue, J. Feuchtwang, and R. Read, “Tensile rotary power transmission model development for airborne wind energy systems,” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 1618, no. 3, 032001, September 2020.

    Google Scholar 

  11. F. Bauer and R. M. Kennel, “Fault-tolerant power electronic system for drag power kites,” Journal of Renewable Energy, vol. 2018, 1306750, April 2018.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. H. Eldeeb, Modelling, Control and Post-fault Operation of Dual Three-phase Drives for Airborne Wind Energy, Dissertation, Technische Universität München, 2019.

  13. T. Mohammed and L. Fagiano, “Fault-tolerant control of a tethered aircraft for airborne wind energy,” Proc. of IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications (CCTA), pp. 279–284, 2022.

  14. D. Todeschini, L. Fagiano, C. Micheli, and A. Cattano, “Control of a rigid wing pumping airborne wind energy system in all operational phases,” Control Engineering Practice, vol. 111, 104794, 2021.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. L. Fagiano and S. Schnez, “On the take-off of airborne wind energy systems based on rigid wings,” Renewable Energy, vol. 107, pp. 473–488, 2017.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. A. Berra and L. Fagiano, “An optimal reeling control strategy for pumping airborne wind energy systems without wind speed feedback,” Proc. of European Control Conference (ECC), pp. 1199–1204, 2021.

  17. M. Bolognini and L. Fagiano, “LiDAR-based navigation of tethered drone formations in an unknown environment,” IFAC-PapersOnLine, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 9426–9431, 2020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. H. T. K. Linskens and E. Mooij, “Tether dynamics analysis and guidance and control design for active space-debris removal,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, vol. 39, no. 6, June 2016.

  19. E. N. Johnson, F. L. Lewis, and B. L. Stevens, Aircraft Control and Simulation: Dynamics, Controls Design, and Autonomous Systems, 3rd ed., Wiley, November 2015.

  20. S. Rapp, R. Schmehl, E. Oland, and T. Haas, “Cascaded pumping cycle control for rigid wing airborne wind energy systems,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, vol. 42, no. 11, pp. 1–18, November 2019.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. D. R. Nelson, D. B. Barber, T. W. McLain, and R. W. Beard, “Vector field path following for miniature air vehicles,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 519–529, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. F. Trevisi, A. Croce, and C. E. D. Riboldi, “Flight stability of rigid wing airborne wind energy systems,” Energies, vol. 14, no. 22, 7704, 2021.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lorenzo Fagiano.

Ethics declarations

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This research has been supported by Fondazione Cariplo under grant no. 2022-2005, project “NextWind - Advanced control solutions for large scale Airborne Wind Energy Systems”, by the European Union-Next Generation EU in the context of the project PNRR M4C2, Investimento 1.3 DD. 341 del 15 marzo 2022 - NEST - Network 4 Energy Sustainable Transition - Spoke 2 - PE00000021 - D43C22003090001, and by the Italian Ministry of University and Research under grant “P2022927H7 - DeepAirborne - Advanced Modeling, Control and Design Optimization Methods for Deep Offshore Airborne Wind Energy”.

Tareg Mohammed received his M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering, control engineering and intelligent systems from Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, in 2017, and a B.Sc. degree in aeronautical engineering (avionics) from Sudan University of Science and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan, in 2008. In 2019 he started a Ph.D. research at Politecnico di Milano. In 2021, he started to work in AWES company (Kitemill AS) as a control system engineer. His current research interests include airborne wind energy simulation and control, and Fault-tolerant control for AWES.

Espen Oland received his Ph.D. degree in engineering cybernetics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2014. From 2008 to 2010, he was an Assistant Professor with NUC. In 2012, he was a Visiting Research Scholar with The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, under the supervision of A. Serrani. The last decade he has worked as a researcher at Teknova focusing on condition based maintenance, and as a Product Development Manager at Kitemill AS developing airborne wind energy systems. Oland is currently employed as a senior project engineer at Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, and holds an associate professor position at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway. His current research interests include the control of unmanned aerial vehicles, airborne wind energy systems, spacecraft, underactuated rigid bodies, and behavioral control methods.

Lorenzo Fagiano received his Ph.D. degree in information and systems engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2009. He is currently Full Professor of automation and control engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. His research interests include constrained estimation and control, set membership methods, and applications to industrial, robotic, and energy systems. He is the recipient of the 2019 European Control Award, the Mission Innovation Champion Award 2019 for Italy, and the 2010 ENI Award Debut in Research Prize.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mohammed, T., Oland, E. & Fagiano, L. Fault Tolerant Flight Control for the Traction Phase of Pumping Airborne Wind Energy Systems. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12555-023-0588-z

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12555-023-0588-z

Keywords

Navigation