We developed new theory for analysing the performance of kites when flown around three dimensional trajectories. Matlab mathematical modelling software was used to quantify the aerodynamic loads. calculate kite velocities and predict motions.
We developed new testing methods for dynamic kite flight. The car was used to develop the apparent wind. By testing on days with no wind, we were able to remove natural wind turbulence and wind gradient effects that would introduce unwanted complexity in the results. At a steady tow speed, the kite was traversed around the edge of the flight envelope. The gimballed flying arm was configured to measure the position angles and loads. The results enabled us to determine the aerodynamic performance of the stationary kite. We fed these results into our theoretical models for dynamic kite flight.
We used our static kite performance measurements, combined with our theoretical flight model to predict dynamic kite flight motions around three dimensional trajectories. We then compared these with real measurements of recorded kite flight and this enabled us to provide the first validated theoretical model for tethered kite flight.