Autonomous Take Off and Flight of a Tethered Glider for Airborne Wind Energy

Eric Nguyen Van

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 11:00

Room 01-012, Georges-Köhler-Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany



A solution to the problem of short take-off and flight of rigid wings in a compact area for Airborne Wind Energy is proposed. The strategy relies on a linear launch and embedded propulsion. We assessed it via simulations in preliminary work and put it into practice with a small scale demonstrator.  Both the ground station and the glider operate autonomously and an emphasis is given on the control design for the glider. We developed a solution allowing the controllers of the ground station and the glider to be independent, requiring no communication during operations. Extensive simulations and flight experimentations eventually led to autonomous tethered take-off and flight. Results obtained during the master thesis are presented together with recent additional flight results.