Nonlinear Aeroelasticity, Flight Dynamics and Control of a Flexible Membrane Traction Kite

  • Allert BoschEmail author
  • Roland Schmehl
  • Paolo Tiso
  • Daniel Rixen
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


This chapter presents a computational method to describe the flight dynamics and deformation of inflatable flexible wings for traction power generation. A nonlinear Finite Element approach is used to discretize the pressurized tubular support structure and canopy of the wing. The quasi-steady aerodynamic loading of the wing sections is determined by empirical correlations accounting for the effect of local angle of attack and shape deformation. The forces in the bridle lines resulting from the aerodynamic loading are imposed as external forces on a dynamic system model to describe the flight dynamics of the kite. Considering the complexity of the coupled aeroelastic flight dynamics problem and the Matlab® implementation, simulation times are generally low. Spanwise bending and torsion of the wing are important deformation modes as clearly indicated by the simulation results. Asymmetric actuation of the steering lines induces the torsional deformation mode that is essential for the mechanism of steering. It can be concluded that the proposed method is a promising tool for detailed engineering analysis. The aerodynamic wing loading model is currently the limiting factor and should be replaced to achieve future accuracy improvements.


Aerodynamic Force Dynamic System Model Flight Dynamics Aerodynamic Model Membrane Wing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allert Bosch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roland Schmehl
    • 1
  • Paolo Tiso
    • 2
  • Daniel Rixen
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Aerospace EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands

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